India’s decision to field three spinners in place of West Indies’ single spinner in the first international game at Brian Lara Stadium paid off handsomely.
Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, and Ravi Bishnoi combined to take five of the eight wickets that fell, enabling India to win by 68 runs in the first T20I of the five-match series.
Thanks to skipper Rohit Sharma’s half-century and Dinesh Karthik’s flawless finishing act of an unbeaten 41 off just 19 balls, India managed to post a substantial 190 for 6 on what appeared to be a slow surface.
This was done before the West Indies’ batting became entangled in the web of spin.
West Indies got off to a quick start in their pursuit of 191 thanks to Kyle Mayers, who helped them score 11 runs off Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s first over and the same number in the first three deliveries of Arshdeep Singh’s over.
With an off-pace short ball, Arshdeep was able to trick Mayers and end the pursuit.
Holder, who was placed at No. 3, was unable to counteract Ravindra Jadeja’s spin, but Ashwin was able to see the back of Nicholas Pooran and Shimron Hetmyer, both left-handers.
In the following overs, Ravi Bishnoi removed both Rovman Powell and Odean Smith, effectively ending the game.
Suryakumar Yadav, India’s sixth opener in T20Is this year, joined Rohit as they headed out to bat after being given the ball.
With a four off Obed McCoy in the first over and another off Jason Holder in the following, Suryakumar got things rolling quickly.
His signature wristily-flick for six over fine leg was also seen, with rookie Alzarri Joseph taking the fall.
Suryakumar was stagnating due to Akeal Hosein’s introduction, though. He was dropped off the spinner’s opening ball, and the next ball managed to elude the bowler running back thanks to a top edge.
Although Suryakumar’s attempted whip ended in a thick leading edge to short third, Hosein emerged victorious in the subsequent over.
India sped to 44 in just five overs, but Suryakumar’s dismissal slowed things down. Rohit had trouble moving the ball, despite scoring a few early goals.
Hosein and McCoy took advantage of the odd ball’s stickiness on the pitch by dismissing Shreyas Iyer for a four-ball duck.
After 35 balls, Rohit reached his 27th half-century in T20Is. He slammed Holder directly to the sweeper cover just as he began to accelerate.
At 131 for 5 in 15 overs on a slowing pitch, India appeared to be on track to reach the 170-run mark.
However, Karthik once more excelled in his role as the finisher to help India get very close to 200. He effectively utilized the crease to throw the bowlers’ lines and lengths off.
He contributed to India scoring 36 runs off the final two overs by taking a toll on the careless Holder and McCoy with Ashwin.