Solid bowling performance on his debut by young leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi (2/17) helped India restrict West Indies to 157/7 despite an attacking fifty by Nicholas Pooran (61 off 43) in the first T20I of the three-match series at the Eden Gardens, here on Wednesday. Apart from Bishnoi, Harshal Patel (2/37) also bowled well to keep things in control of India.
Put in to bat first, West Indies were off to a poor start as Bhuvneshwar Kumar dismissed Brandon King to give an early breakthrough. After getting hit over cover, Bhuvneshwar Kumar pulled his length back and that resulted in the breakthrough as Suryakumar Yadav took a good catch.
However, the wicket didn’t affect West Indies batters — Kyle Mayers and Nicholas Pooran — and they did some incredible hitting to shift the momentum in the visitors’ favour. Mayers, in particular, was very aggressive and used his brute power to great effect, taking West Indies to 44/1 after six overs.
After the end of the powerplay, skipper Rohit Sharma brought Yuzvendra Chahal into the attack and he immediately produced an opportunity for India to pick a wicket but there was an error in judgment from the debutant Ravi Bishnoi at the boundary line.
Chahal tossed up the ball and Pooran played a lofted shot with Bishnoi running to his left from long-off. The youngster did well to grab the ball but he ended up jogging back onto the cushions.
Nevertheless, Chahal dismissed Mayers in the same over, trapping the batter in front of the wicket and it was given out by the umpire. Mayer consulted Pooran and asked for a review and the replay showed that it’s umpire’s call which meant that Mayers had to walk back after scoring 31 off 24 balls.
Thereafter, the duo of Nicholas Pooran and Roston Chase took calculative risks and managed to hit a few boundaries, as well as they, took West Indies to 71/2 after 10 overs. The scoreline soon became 74/4 after 11 overs as debutant Ravi Bishnoi bagged two wickets in the same over- dismissing Chase (4) and Rovman Powell (2).
An already-struggling Chase was outfoxed by a scintillating googly as Ravin picked his maiden T20I wicket while Powell decided to take on the spinner but holed out to Venkatesh Iyer at long-on. A couple of overs later, Deepak Chahar came back to scalp Akeal Hosein’s wicket, leaving West Indies in deep trouble at 90-5 after 13.5 overs.
Though wickets were falling at regular intervals, Pooran continued his counter-attacking knock and tried to hold up the West Indies innings as his brilliant fifty came in the 17th over. He got the much-needed support from skipper Kieron Pollard from the other end.
Just when it looked like both Pollard and Pooran would finish big for India, Harshal Patel got rid of the latter with a slower ball. It was another off-cutter into the slot but since it’s outside off, Pooran (61 off 43 balls) failed to time it properly and was caught by Kohli at long-off.
From there on, Pollard (24 off 19) hit a few good shots but Harshal bowled a disciplined last over to restrict West to 157-7 in 20 overs. Odean Smith (4) got out in the last ball of the innings as Rohit Sharma took a brilliant catch to end things in the first innings.
West Indies 157/7 in 20 overs (Nicholas Pooran 61, Kyle Mayers 31; Ravi Bishnoi 2/17, Harshal Patel 2/37) vs India