India got off to a disappointing start in the chase as Shubman Gill (3) was stumped off Akeal Hosein and was beaten. After Suryakumar Yadav hit a couple of boundaries, Ishan Kishan (6) fell to Obed McCoy (2/28), caught at mid-on. Tilak Varma got his T20I career off to a spectacular start, smacking his first two balls for maximums.
India, however, kept losing wickets at regular intervals. Suryakumar (21) carved one from Jason Holder (2/19) towards short extra cover, where Shimron Hetmyer pulled off a spectacular catch. Varma’s knock ended on 39 off 22 as he miscued a slower one from Romario Shepherd (2/33).
India’s chase suffered a body blow when skipper Hardik Pandya was bowled by Holder for 19. In the same overs, Kyle Mayers ran out Sanju Samson (12) with a direct hit. Axar Patel (13) and Arshdeep Singh (12) gave India hope, but it wasn’t enough.
Earlier, batting first, West Indies lost Mayers (1) and Brandon King (28) to Yuzvendra Chahal in the leg-spinner’s first over. Both batters were out leg before. Nicholas Pooran, however, slammed 41 off 34 to give the West Indies innings momentum.
Skipper Rovman Powell top-scored with 48 off 32, whacking three fours and as many sixes. After getting rid of Pooran, Pandya could have had Powell in the same over, but Chahal dropped a simple catch at extra cover. Powell made India pay with some big strikes.
Arshdeep dismissed Hetmyer (10) and Powell in the penultimate over, while Mukesh Kumar was also good at the death as West Indies were held to less than 150. The target, however, proved a bit too much for India as their batters failed to live up to the challenge.
Speaking after the defeat, Pandya said, “We were right to chase. We made some errors which cost us the game. A young team will make mistakes. We will learn. Good four games ahead. In T20 cricket, if you lose wickets, it becomes difficult to chase.”
--By A Cricket Correspondent