West Indies brushed India in what was the latter's 200th T20I aside by 4 runs in the first game in Trinidad to take a 1-0 lead in the five-match series. Rovman Powell's innovative captaincy and their bowling performance to defend a modest 149 were two of the most significant factors in their narrow win.
Nicholas Pooran carries his MLC form into T20I cricket:
India, who lost the toss, handed two debut caps to Tilak Varma and Mukesh Kumar. They started magnificently by dismissing two out of top three for single-figure scores. However, Nicholas Pooran launched a counterattack as he raced to 22 off his first 6 deliveries. Pooran, who hit a blistering ton in the Major League Cricket (MLC) final, joined hands with captain Rovman Powell to add 38 off 40 deliveries.
Even as the home side lost their 4th wicket inside 15 overs with a total of 150 slightly looking like a foregone conclusion, Powell smacked three sixes in the next three overs. The 19th over crushed West Indies' hopes of going over 160 as Arshdeep Singh struck twice to remove Powell and Shimron Hetmyer.
Tilak Varma shines on international debut:
After India's much-vaunted top 3 failed, Tilak Varma strode out and took charge instantly. The Mumbai Indians batter struck two sixes in his first two deliveries, but holed out to fine leg just as he was beginning to cut loose. With the tourists deciding on a long tail, Hardik Pandya and Sanju Samson were their last recognized batting pair.
With 37 required off the final 5 overs, Jason Holder's over turned the match on its head by getting Hardik and Samson in the same over. Axar Patel and Arshdeep Singh offered some hope with their boundaries, but their wickets were the final nail in the coffin as Romario Shepherd successfully defended 10 runs in the final over.