Ind vs WI 2019: Virat-Rahul brilliance eclipses Windies pyrotechnics
- Virat crafted a whirlwind 94 helping India knock off West Indies' mammoth 208-run target and go 1-up in the series.
No target's presumably daunting enough for the chase master Virat Kohli. The batting genius crafted a whirlwind 94* helping India knock off West Indies' mammoth 208-run target and go one up in the series. Normally a flamboyant stroke-player, Virat looked uncharacteristically sluggish at the beginning and discovered his touch later as the game progressed. But once he got into the groove, the Carribean men had nowhere to hide. Completing the formalities, Virat punched the air in delight and signed off with an animated celebration, having produced yet another chasing masterclass.
West Indies tee-off
After being put in, West Indies kicked off in archetypal fashion, going hammer and tongs right from the outset. Leading the proceedings, Evin Lewis channelised his instinctive belligerence ensuring the visitors get off to a flier.
Deepak Chahar illustrated his quality with the new ball prising out Lendl Simmons cheaply, who nicked a jagging outswinger to Rohit Sharma at first slip. Forthwith, Washington Sundar eventually halted Lewis' juggernaut, trapping him leg before for a dazzling 40.
Meanwhile, India's fielding was predominantly lackluster. Washington Sundar horribly misjudged an easy catch at short third man before shelling another chance at long-on. Even Rohit dropped a sitter afterwards, hence gifting Pollard a fortunate reprieve.
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Chahal strikes back
Hetmyer unfurled magnificent slog-sweeps and colossal hits, propelling the guest nation towards a formidable total. The exuberant southpaw perished to leggie Yuzvendra Chahal after reaching his fifty, holding out to square leg.
The skilled leggie disturbed Pollar's furniture with a zipping grubber. Late fireworks from Jason Holder saw West Indies finish on a challenging 207/5 in the stipulated twenty overs.
Rahul lays the foundation
Shouldering the opening responsibilities in Dhawan's absence, KL Rahul hit the ground running with lovely square cuts through backward point. Khary Pierre jolted the hosts early when Rohit Sharma's aerial clip found deep mid-wicket to precision.
Virat looked a pale shadow of his usual self, miserably struggling with timing and placement. Despite Rahul's speedy half-century, India couldn't wrestle back the advantage in favor as Virat lumbered his way to a run-a-ball 20.
With the asking rate briskly climbing out of grasp and Virat unable to provide any momentum whatsoever, Rahul felt the need to quickly shift gears. Trying to accelerate, the graceful opener hammered a regulation Pierre delivery straight to Pollard at long-off.
Virat takes center-stage
The audacious lofted six over covers off Jason Holder proved climacteric for Virat. The Indian captain instantaneously realised his mistake of depending unnecessarily on muscular force to score and molded his technique accordingly. Everything magically glided back into sync. Pollard's juicy half-volleys were flicked with nonchalant elegance and speed merchant Kesrick William's yorkers treated with utmost disdain.
Rishabh Pant trumpeted his arrival in style launching a gigantic maximum on his very first delivery but perished soon attempting a reckless hoick off Sheldon Cottrel. Pollard snaffled a blinder in his follow-through to remove Shreyas Iyer, but it was just too late for a miraculous resurgence.
The finishing touches
Courtesy Virat's trademark bottom-handed whip, the equation narrowed down to a comfortable 15 required off the last two overs. The prodigious swashbuckler hoisted a couple of beautiful sixes and wrapped up the monumental chase with eight balls to spare.
Brief Scores: West Indies 207/5 in 20 overs (Virat Kohli 94*, KL Rahul 62; Kharry Pierre 2-44) lost to India 209/4 in 18.4 overs (Shimron Hetmyer 56, Evin Lewis 40; Yuzvendra Chahal 2-36) by 6 wickets.
Published 07 Dec 2019, 02:43 IST