Kolkata, Feb 18 (UNI): Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s excellent penultimate over handed India an eight-run victory over West Indies in second T20I thriller at the Eden Gardens here on Friday.
With the win, India also took an unassailable lead 2-0 in the three-match series. West Indies had a slow start while chasing the 187-run target. The visitors finally got the momentum after Brandon King smashed a boundary off Deepak Chahar.
Yuzvendra Chahal entered the picture, trying to dry up the runs and eventually got the wicket of Kyle Mayers (9).
Nicholas Pooran carried his momentum from the first game, whacking Harshal Patel for a maximum followed by a four. Soon, Ravi Bishnoi got the much-needed breakthrough as he dismissed King for 22. The right-hander went down the track but got caught at long-on.
Rovman Powell and Pooran announced the return of big hitting West Indians with their solid 100-run partnership for the third wicket. The duo talked in fours and sixes. When Powell was on 40, Bhuvneshwar created a chance but couldn’t held onto the ball off his own delivery.
Pooran and Powell brought up their respective half-centuries. With 29 required off final two overs, Bhuvneshwar conceded only four runs and also got rid of Pooran (62).
The West Indian holed out to Bishnoi who back-pedalled from extra cover to complete the catch. For the final over, skipper Rohit Sharma handed the ball to Harshal who restricted West Indies to 178/3 in spite of Powell (68 not out) smashing two maximums.
Earlier, a half-century from Virat Kohli and, Rishabh Pant and Venkatesh Iyer’s blitzkrieg helped India post 186/5 after being put in to bat. West Indies conceded 10 runs in the first over after putting India into bat.
Left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein had a horrendous start, leaking a boundary of a wide and then bowling back-to-back no-balls. However, India openers did not take advantage of the free hits. The visitors quickly overcame the shocker as Sheldon Cottrell got an early breakthrough.
Ishan Kishan gave an easy catch at point and walked back for two. Rohit and Kohli recovered India from the hiccup, making the most of powerplay overs with India reaching 49/1. A mistimed shot from Rohit (19), who was dropped on 2, resulted in his departure off Roston Chase.
The off-spinner bagged another crucial wicket as he caught and bowled Suryakumar Yadav for 8. Kohli, who was enduring a lean patch, finally silenced critics with his 30th T20I half-century.
The former India skipper brought up his fifty with a maximum over long-on after the ball went over Jason Holder, who got to the ball but couldn’t held onto it. Chase finally got the better of Kohli (52) as the ball took a turn and crashed his middle stump. Towards the end, Venkatesh Iyer’s 18-ball 33 cameo and Rishabh Pant’s unbeaten 52 off 28 balls ensured a big finish for India.
Brief scores: India 186/5 in 20 overs (Rishabh Pant 52 not out, Virat Kohli 52; Roston Chase 3/25) beat West Indies 178/3 in 20 overs (Rovman Powell 68 not out, Nicholas Pooran 62; Bhuvneshwar Kumar 1/29) by 8 runs.