Kohli, Pant help India clinch T20 series against Windies with eight-run win


Virat Kohli raises his bat after scoring fifty runs I PTI

Kolkata: Rovman Powell’s hard hitting went in vain as India beat West Indies by eight runs to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.

Needing 25 runs off the last over, Powell smashed two sixes to bring the equation down to 11 off two. But Harshal Patel held his nerve to restrict the West Indies to 178-3.

Earlier, Virat Kohli (51) and Rishabh Pant (52 not out) scored half-centuries to help India score 186-5.

Chasing 187, West Indies made a steady start reaching 34-1 in 5.1 overs before Kyle Myers (9) was first dismissed off Yuzvendra Chahal.

Nicholas Pooran and Brandon King (22) then added 25 runs before the latter holed out off Ravi Bishnoi.

Pooran scored 62 off only 41 deliveries, including five fours and three sixes. He added 100 runs off only 60 balls with Powell to set up the chase in dewy conditions.

It was the third highest partnership for the West Indies against India in T20 cricket.

Both batsmen gained from dropped catches as India put a poor display on the field.

Powell powered his way to a half-century off 28 balls, hitting four fours and five sixes.

Kumar only gave four runs in the penultimate over, also accounting for Pooran. And Patel held his nerve thereafter, as Powell remained unbeaten on 62 runs.

“He (Powell) was phenomenal today. His partnership with Pooran almost got us over the line. We did well to take it as deep as we can. We can look at different ways as to how we could have gotten those eight runs,” said skipper Kieron Pollard, after the loss.

This was after Kohli overcame his bad run of form to score a 30th T20 half-century.

India lost Ishan Kishan for 2 after West Indies opted to bowl. Roston Chase took 3-25 in his four overs as the hosts made slow progress in the first 10 overs.

Rohit Sharma was dismissed for 19, while Suryakumar Yadav was out for 8. Chase accounted for both batsmen.

Kohli was in a mood, though, as he hit seven fours and a six to reach his half-century off 39 deliveries.

“I decided to be positive when I went in," Kohli said. "Despite losing a few wickets, I wanted to continue in the same way. I was disappointed to get out because the game was set up nicely to go hard in the last few overs, which is my strength. I am happy that I went out with a clear intent today.”

His dismissal had left India at 106-4 in 13.4 overs. Pant and Venkatesh Iyer then added 76 runs off only 35 balls to propel India to a challenging total.

Playing the anchor role, Pant reached his third half-century off 27 balls. All his 50-plus T20 scores have come against the West Indies and he was named man of the match.

Iyer scored 33 off 18 balls, including four fours and a six. Pant also hit seven fours and a six.

The third and final T20 will be played on Sunday at the same venue. India won the first T20 by six wickets.

AP

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