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PIX: Kohli, Pant seal T20 series win against Windies

Last updated on: February 18, 2022 23:33 IST
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Images from the second Twenty20 International between India and the West Indies, in Kolkata, on Friday.

India's Virat Kohli scored his 30th fifty, his first since the 57 against Pakistan in the T20 World Cup on October 24, 2021, in the second T20I against the West Indies, at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata, on Friday.

IMAGE: India's Virat Kohli scored his 30th fifty, his first since the 57 against Pakistan in the T20 World Cup on October 24, 2021, in the second T20I against the West Indies, in Kolkata, on Friday. Photograph: BCCI

Virat Kohli was back among runs with a fighting fifty while Rishabh Pant smashed a breezy, unbeaten 52 as India beat the West Indies by eight runs in the second T20 International, at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Friday, to take a 2-0 lead in the three-match series.

 

Chasing their 100th T20I victory, the hosts, guided by a fine knock from Kohli, took charge of the proceedings after Roston Chase exposed the Indian middle order to post a challenging 186 for 5.

In reply, Nicholas Pooran (62 off 41 balls) and Rovman Powell (68 not out off 36) kept the West Indies in the hunt but their efforts were not enough as 178 for 3 was all they could muster.

West Indies pacer Sheldon Cottrell celebrates after dismissing India opener Ishan Kishan.

IMAGE: West Indies pacer Sheldon Cottrell celebrates after dismissing India opener Ishan Kishan. Photograph: BCCI

Kohli went on to register his 30th fifty in the shortest format, his first since the 57 versus Pakistan in the T20 World Cup on October 24, 2021.

The former India captain's sheer elegance was on full display as he cut, pulled and also took the aerial route en route to his 41-ball 52 that was studded with seven fours and a six.

Luck also favoured Kohli on the day as he brought up his 30th T20I fifty with a slog over long-on after Jason Holder failed to get hold of the catch and the ball went over the boundary.

Roston Chase celebrates the wicket of Rohit Sharma.

IMAGE: Roston Chase celebrates the wicket of Rohit Sharma. Photograph: BCCI

But Kohli failed to make it big and was cleaned up by Chase two balls later after the Windies off-spinner breached his gate for his third wicket.

Chase was impressive in the middle overs to return with figures of 3 for 25, which included the wickets of Rohit Sharma (19) and Suryakumar Yadav (8).

Roston Chase celebrates with his West Indies teammates after dismissing Suryakumar Yadav.

IMAGE: Roston Chase celebrates with his West Indies teammates after dismissing Suryakumar Yadav. Photograph: BCCI

Thereafter, it was the Pant and Venkatesh Iyer (33 from 18 balls) show on offer as they took charge on the likes of Kieron Pollard and Romario Shepherd in their 76-run partnership from 35 balls.

Pant (52 off 28 balls) brought up his third fifty in T20Is with a double in the penultimate delivery of the innings, taking just 27 balls to get to the milestone.

Virat Kohli is bowled by Roston Chase.

IMAGE: Virat Kohli is bowled by Roston Chase. Photograph: BCCI

Earlier, India got off to a slow start as Sheldon Cottrell bowled four dots on the trot before dismissing Ishan Kishan in the second over of the day.

Kishan, who was the most expensive buy of the IPL 2022 mega auction, looked listless and under pressure as his poor form continued and he departed for 2 after a 10-ball stay.

Rishabh Pant dispatches the ball to the boundary.

IMAGE: Rishabh Pant dispatches the ball to the boundary. Photograph: BCCI

Thereafter though it was the Kohli show at the sparsely-crowded Eden Gardens. The former India skipper delighted his fans with his elegant timing and stroke-play.

Getting off the mark with a boundary with a whip to the square leg boundary, Kohli found his timing early on and got a second boundary in the same over off Akeal Hossain.

He was the aggressor and skipper Rohit was happy to play second fiddle as the duo took India's score to almost 50 in the first six overs.

Rishabh Pant and Venkatesh Iyer

IMAGE: Rishabh Pant and Venkatesh Iyer celebrate a boundary their 76-run partnership from 35 balls. Photograph: BCCI

There was a clear shift in India's batting in the powerplay, the pair unafraid to take the aerial route.

Rohit departed for 19 off 18 balls after a fine partnership with Kohli that yielded 49 runs from 36 balls before Chase provided the breakthrough in his first over, removing India’s skipper after inducing a thick leading edge and was caught at point.

In his next over, Chase accounted for Suryakumar to expose India's middle over but Kohli ensured that there was no further damage.

Yuzvendra Chahal celebrates the wicket of Kyle Mayers

IMAGE: Yuzvendra Chahal celebrates the wicket of Kyle Mayers. Photograph: BCCI Domestic/Twitter

Chasing 187, West Indies openers Brandon King and Kyle Mayers put on 34 runs for the first wicket. However, the partnership was broken by Yuzvendra Chahal in the sixth over. The wily spinner struck with the first ball of his second over, inducing a leading edge from Mayers (9) which spooned high and the bowler took a simple return catch.

Soon after, Ravi Bishnoi struck in his first over, dismissing King (22 off 30 balls) and the visitors were reduced to 59 for 2, still needing 128 runs to win from 69 balls.

Ravi Bishnoi celebrates after dismissing Brandon King.

IMAGE: Ravi Bishnoi hug from fellow-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal after dismissing Brandon King. Photograph: BCCI

Bishnoi needed just three deliveries to strike as King cames down the track and hit it straight into the hands of Suryakumar Yadav at long-on.

Pooran and Rovman Powell kept West Indies in the chase as the duo mixed caution with aggression and after 15 overs, the Windies' score read 124 for 2, needing 63 runs more to win from 30 balls.

Nicholas Pooran bats during the second T20

IMAGE: West Indies wicketkeeper-batter Nicholas Pooran scored 62 off 41 balls. Photograph: BCCI

Pooran (62) finally departed in the penultimate over to Bhuvneshwar Kumar. He went for a big swing across the line but miscued the third ball high on the off-side and Bishnoi took a good catch pedalling back, doing well to judge it and  hold on despite tumbling back.

Pooran walked back after a superb innings of 62 from 41 balls, having hit five fours and three sixes.

Rovman Powell scored a brisk 68 not out from 36 balls

IMAGE: Rovman Powell hits a four during his brisk 68 not out from 36 balls. Photograph: BCCI

This wicket brought an end to the 100-run stand for the third wicket.
The West Indies needed 28 runs to win from nine balls.

In the second-last over of the game, Bhuvneshwar conceded just four runs and as a result, the visitors were required to score 25 runs in the final over to win the game.

Harshal Patel held his nerve to see India through despite being hit by Powell for six.

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