India win 2nd T20I against West Indies to seal series ￼
India defeated West Indies by a margin of 8 runs in the second T20I on Friday at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata to seal the three-match series in a high scoring game. After setting West Indies a target of 187, Indian bowlers Harshal Patel and Bhuvneshwar Kumar did well to defend 36 runs from the last 3 overs as the visiting side could manage only 178/3 from their 20 overs.
For India, former captain Virat Kohli bounced back from a string of poor scores to make 52 from 41 balls whereas the explosive wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant made 52 not out from just 28 balls, with the help of 7 boundaries and a six, to help them post a big total of 186/5 after being asked to bat first.
In their reply, the West Indies were served well by their vice-captain Nicolas Pooran, who scored 62 and Rovman Powell remained unbeaten on 68, but they could not go past the finish line.
Pooran scored 62 from just 41 balls with 5 boundaries and 3 sixes whereas Powell smacked 5 sixes and 4 fours to reach 68 not out from only 36 balls. The two Caribbean batsmen did well to revive their side from a dangerous position of 59/2 from 8.3 overs, adding 100 runs for the third wicket from only 60 balls to take the West Indies close to the target.
However, the brilliance of the experienced Indian fast bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Harshal Patel came to the fore as the two bowlers denied the West Indies towards the ending stages of the game, with the former and senior bowling pro bowled a tight penultimate over to keep India ahead in the series.
Earlier in the match, India were bolstered by a strong partnership between the experienced pair of captain Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, who added 49 runs for the second wicket to provide them with a strong platform. While Suryakumar Yadav was dismissed for cheap – he scored 8 runs from 6 balls — Kohli added another 34 runs with Pant to keep India going forward.
The biggest partnership for India in the game came between Pant and Venkatesh Iyer, with the all-rounder once again proving his worth with a brisk innings of 33 not out from only 18 balls for which he hit 4 boundaries and a six. Roston Chase was the pick among the bowlers for the West Indies, returning with figures of 4-0-25-3.
For India, Bhuvneshwar, Yuzvendra Chahal and Ravi Bishnoi all claimed 1 wicket each but it was their disciplined bowling towards the end of the match which proved to be the difference between the two teams in a high-scoring contest played on Friday.
With the T20I series already decided, India and West Indies will meet once again on Sunday at the same venue to play the third and final match of the series, as well as of the tour, with the Caribbean side looking to salvage some pride after five consecutive defeats.