THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Opener Lendl Simmons struck an unbeaten 67 as West Indies beat India by eight wickets in the second Twenty20 International on Sunday to level the three-match series at 1-1.
Simmons put on crucial partnerships including a 73-run opening stand with Evin Lewis, who made 40, as West Indies chased down their target of 171 with nine balls to spare in Thiruvananthapuram.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Nicholas Pooran hit the winning boundary to finish unbeaten on 38 after returning to the side following his four-match ban for ball tampering.
Earlier, batsman Shivam Dube struck his maiden T20 International half-century as India reached 170-7.
The hosts depended on Dube’s 54 off 30 balls and an unbeaten 33 from Rishabh Pant to put up a fighting total after being put into bat first.
India lost their openers with the score on 56 but the left-handed Dube, who was promoted to number three in the batting order, counter attacked with three fours and four sixes to take the attack to the opposition.
Indian batsmen including skipper Virat Kohli got starts only to lose their wicket to some disciplined bowling.
Kohli mistimed a cut to be caught at short third-man for 19 off paceman Kesrick Williams but not after edging past Rohit Sharma as the world’s most prolific T20 scorer with 2,563 runs.
Both Kohli and Sharma (2,562 runs) are locked in a battle of supremacy for being the top run-getter in the shortest format.
Pant, a wicketkeeper-batsman who is often criticised for throwing away his wicket, held firm in his 22-ball stay laced with three fours and a six.
Williams and leg-spinner Hayden Walsh claimed two wickets.
The third and final match is in Mumbai on Wednesday.
R. Sharma b Holder 15
K.L. Rahul c Hetmyer b Pierre 11
S. Dube c Hetmyer b Walsh 54
V. Kohli c Simmons b Williams 19
R. Pant not out 33
S. Iyer c King b Walsh 10
R. Jadeja b Williams 9
W. Sundar c & b Cottrel l0
D. Chahar not out 1
EXTRAS (LB-3, NB-2, W-13) 18
TOTAL (for 7 wkts, 20 overs) 170
DID NOT BAT: B. Kumar, Y. Chahal.
FALL OF WKTS: 1-24, 2-56, 3-97, 4-120, 5-144, 6-164, 7-167.
BOWLING: Cottrell 4-0-27-1 (w3), Pierre
2-0-11-1, Holder 4-0-42-1, Williams 4-0-30-2 (w3, nb2), Pollard 2-0-29-0 (w3), Walsh 4-0-28-2.
L. Simmons not out 67
E. Lewis st Pant b Sundar 40
S. Hetmyer c Kohli b Jadeja 23
N. Pooran not out 38
EXTRAS (NB-1, W-4) 5
TOTAL (for 2 wkts, 18.3 overs) 173
DID NOT BAT: B. King, K. Pollard, J. Holder, K. Pierre, K. Williams, S. Cottrell, H. Walsh Jr.
FALL OF WKTS: 1-73, 2-112.
BOWLING: Chahar 3.3-0-35-0 (2w), Kumar 4-0-36-0, Sundar 4-0-26-1 (1w), Chahal 3-0-36-0 (1w), Dube 2-0-18-0 (1nb), Jadeja 2-0-22-1.
RESULT: West Indies won by eight wickets.
TOSS: West Indies.
UMPIRES: Anil Chaudhary and Chettithody Shamshuddin (both India).
TV UMPIRE: Nitin Menon (India).
MATCH REFEREE: David Boon (Australia).
Published in Dawn, December 9th, 2019