Centurion Lewis takes Windies to 245/6 in first T20I vs India

Lauderhill (Florida), Aug 27 (IANS) Riding on opener Evin Lewis’ century, West Indies posted 245/6 in the first T20 International against India at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium Turf Ground here on Saturday.

Down after losing the Test series 2-0, the reigning T20I champions were at their lethal best after being sent in to bat by India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, in what is the US’s only International Cricket Council (ICC) recognised cricket stadium.

The carnage started from the word go as the opening duo of Johnson Charles (79) and Lewis clobbered pacer Mohammed Shami for a six and two fours in the opening over to set the tone with 17 runs before propelling the West Indies to 101 in the eighth over.

The Indian bowlers had no answer to the sudden onslaught launched by the West Indians with Charles being the more aggressive of the two.

Dhoni’s ploy of halting the duo by employing his star off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin failed to bear any result as Charles hit consecutive sixes off the tweaker to get to his half-century from just 20 balls.

Shami, who was recalled for his second spell, finally managed to bring the onslaught to a halt by removing Charles with a full length delivery that rocked his off-stump.

Charles’ 33-ball knock was laced with six boundaries and seven massive sixes and his partnership with Lewis produced 126 runs.

The dismissal of Charles brought in all-rounder Andre Russell, who was promoted to keep the run-rate soaring.

Playing his second ever T20I, Lewis, who till now was playing second fiddle, took the attack to the opposition as he also got to his 50 off 25 balls with four boundaries and three sixes.

But it was not over yet for the southpaw, who launched seamer Stuart Binny for five consecutive sixes in the 11th over to propel the Caribbean side to the 150-run mark.

Lewis soon went on to reach the three-figure mark from 47 balls with a single from Jadeja before being dismissed in the same over. His 49-ball knock included five fours and nine huge sixes while his partnership for the second wicket with Russell yielded 78 runs.

Jadeja brought the smiles back on the faces of Indian fans by trapping Russell plumb in front in the same over but not before the West Indies crossed the 200-run mark.

Skipper Carlos Brathwaite (14) and veteran Keiron Pollard (22) then continued the fireworks in the middle with a 31-run stand for the fourth wicket before Brathwaite fell prey to Jasprit Bumrah’s brilliant presence of mind to be run out on the first ball of the final over.

Bumrah again struck on the third ball with the prized wicket of Pollard and then packed off Lendl Simmons for a duck of the very next delivery.

Marlon Samuels (1) and Dwayne Bravo (1) then survived the last ball with a single, but it was enough for the West Indies to get to the third highest T20I total and third highest overall score.

For India, Bumrah and Jadeja took two wickets apiece while Shami chipped in with one.

Brief Scores: West Indies 245/6 (Evin Lewis 100, Johnson Charles 79, Andre Russell 22, Jadeja 2/39, Bumrah 2/47) vs India.

–IANS

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