India thrash West Indies by 68 runs in T20I series opener

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The Indian cricket team defeated West Indies by 68 runs in the first T20I to take a 1-0 lead in the five-match series at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Trinidad and Tobago on Friday.

Put into bat, Rohit Sharma’s scintillating knock of 64 off just 44 balls and Dinesh Karthik’s unbeaten 19-ball 41 powered India to 190/6 in their allotted 20 overs.

For West Indies, fast bowler Alzarri Joseph picked two wickets for 46 runs while left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein was the most economical as he gave away just 14 runs in his quota of four overs including bagging one dismissal.

In a surprising move, India promoted swashbuckling batter Suryakumar Yadav to open the innings along with captain Rohit Sharma.

Rohit and Suryakumar got the visitors off to a blitzkrieg start as they smashed 44 runs in 4.3 overs before the latter departed for 24 off 16 balls.

Batting at number three, Shreyas Iyer soon perished to West Indies left-arm fast bowler Obed McCoy for a duck.

Wicket-keeper batter Rishabh Pant joined Rohit at the crease as the duo accelerated the Indian innings.

However, the Men in Blue lost Pant (14) and all-rounder Hardik Pandya (1) in quick succession with the score reading 102/4 in 11.5 overs.

Meanwhile, Rohit continued to play an impressive knock at the other end as he brought up his 27th T20I fifty.

This was the Indian captain’s 31st 50-plus score in the T20I format, surpassing teammate Virat Kohli, who has 30 50-plus scores in T20Is.

Furthermore, Rohit regained the top spot in the list of highest run-getters in T20 internationals. The 35-year-old has now amassed 3,443 runs in 129 matches, eclipsing New Zealand batter Martin Guptill’s 3,399 runs in 116 T20Is.

Fast bowler Jason Holder later brought West Indies back into the game as he dismissed Rohit for 64.

Following Rohit’s dismissal, Dinesh Karthik joined all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja to resurrect the Indian innings.

While Jadeja soon departed for 16, Karthik continued to play a breathtaking knock as he smashed 41 runs off just 19 balls to help India post 190/6.

Chasing a target of 191, West Indies lost wickets at regular intervals as the hosts were restricted to 122/8 in their 20 overs.

Spinners Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravi Bishnoi and left-arm pacer Arshdeep Singh were the standout bowlers for India as they claimed two wickets apiece.

West Indies opening batter Shamarh Brooks top-scored with 15-ball 20 while tailender Keemo Paul remained unbeaten on 19.

Dinesh Karthik was adjudged the Player of the Match for his match-winning knock.

India and West Indies will resume rivalry in the second T20I at Warner Park in St. Kitts on Monday, August 1. Match will start at 8:00 PM IST.