T20I: Kohli, Rahul help India to victory against West Indies
Hyderabad: A master class from captain Virat Kohli aided by a brilliant half century by opener KL Rahul helped India to a 6 wicket victory against West Indies in the first T20i match here on Friday.
The West Indies had posted a mammoth 207/5 for India to chase at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium here.
Shimron Hetmyer slammed 56 off 41 balls while Evin Lewis got 40 off 17 while captain Kieron Pollard and Jason Holder too used the long handle to good effect to help the visitors post an imposing total.
India replied in the same coin with KL Rahul scoring 62 off 40 ball while Virat Kohli remaining unbeaten with 94 from just 50 deliveries.
West Indies lost their first wicket early with Deepak Chahar getting Lendl Simmons to nick to Rohit Sharma at slips. However, this was followed by a 51-run stand between Lewis and Brandon King that let West Indies dominate the Powerplay overs.
The visitors' next big stand came between Hetmyer and Pollard. The pair added 71 runs for the fourth wicket and were saved by some uncharactestic slackness from India in the field.
Hetmyer survived when his attempted sweep off Yuzvendra Chahal in the 16th over was misjudged by Washington Sundar.
Pollard then survived a hat-trick of dropped catches in the next over. The first was by Sundar once again, this time running in from long on. Rohit Sharma then caught the ball momentarily on the boundary line behind the bowler but had to let go just as he went over the ropes. The next ball slipped right through his hands at long on and went for a six in what was an otherwise regulation catch.
Both Pollard and Hetmyer were then dismissed in the 18th over, falling to Chahal, but Holder smashed 24 off just nine balls to ensure that the West Indies ended the innings on a high.
India started in similar fashion and lost hitman Rohit Sharma (8 off 10) in the 4th over. Rahul and Kohli teamed up to take the Indian innings forward. But when Rahul departed in the 14th over, India did not look convincing at 130/2.
Rishabh Pant scored 18 off 9 balls while Kohli shifted to top gear. The Indian captain was so unplayable and the West Indies bowlers gave away three front-foot no balls resulting in free hits. In the end India chased the target with two balls to spare.