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Kuldeep, Krunal & Karthik guide India to a 5 wicket win over West Indies in first T20I

Krunal Pandya celebrates his first international wicket © AFP

The Indian Cricket team started the T20I series with a 5 wicket win over West Indies played at Eden Garden’s, Kolkata. A great bowling effort by the Indian bowlers restricted West Indies to a below-par total. Despite losing wickets, Dinesh Karthik, Manish Pandey and Krunal Pandya made sure that India won the match with ease.

Indian captain Rohit Sharma won the toss and decided to field first. Shai Hope and Dinesh Ramdin got the team off to a decent start adding 16 runs for the opening wicket. Umesh Yadav took the wicket of Ramdin for 2 runs. Soon after Shai Hope was involved in a mix up with Hetymer as Hope was run out. Hetymer was dismissed to put West Indies under pressure at 28 for 3. At the end of the first 6 overs, West Indies scored just 31 for 3.

The debutant Krunal Pandya dismissed Kieron Pollard for 14 runs. The Indian bowlers kept picking wickets at regular intervals and put pressure on West Indies batsmen. Fabien Allen scored 27 off 20 balls. Keemo Paul and Pierre added unbeaten 22 runs for the 9th wicket. India restricted West Indies to just 109 for 8 in 20 overs. For India, Kuldeep Yadav took 3 for 13 while Krunal Pandya, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Khaleel Ahmed, Umesh Yadav picked 1 wicket each.

Chasing 110 runs to win, India lost the wicket of Rohit Sharma in the very first over. Oshane Thomas bowled with pace and dismissed both Indian openers. KL Rahul and Pant added 19 runs for the 3rd wicket before Pant played a poor stroke.

At the end of first 6 overs, India scored 35 for 3. After the power play overs, KL Rahul was dismissed for 16 runs to leave the hosts in big trouble at 45 for 4. Dinesh Karthik and Manish Pandey steadied the ship with 38 runs stand for the 5th wicket. Manish Pandey was dismissed for 19. The debutant Krunal Pandya impressed with bat remaining not out on 21 off 9 balls while Dinesh Karthik remained not out 31 off 34 balls. India won the match by 5 wickets with 13 balls to spare.

For West Indies, Oshane Thomas took 2 for 21 while captain Carlos Braithwaite took 2 for 11. Pierre picked his debut wicket giving away 16 runs.

India 110 for 5 in 17.5 overs ( Dinesh Karthik 31*, Krunal Pandya 21*, Oshane Thomas 2/21, Carlos Braithwaite 2/11) beat

West Indies 109 for 8 in 20 overs ( Fabien Allen 27, Keemo Paul 15*, Kuldeep Yadav 3/13) by 5 wickets.

West Indies captain Carlos Braithwaite said: We did not apply ourselves with the bat. Getting 130-140 could have been a winning total. As a bunch of young guys, need to express and put some runs on the board. Need to be better in the coming matches.

Indian captain Rohit Sharma said: An outstanding performance with the ball. The ball was helping the pace bowlers. Our bowlers used the conditions well. Oshane Thomas troubled our batsmen and need to learn from our mistakes.

Man of the match Kuldeep Yadav said: Important to take wickets. Very happy with the way we performed with the ball. Krunal Pandya and Dinesh Karthik played well to help us win a match on a tough batting pitch.

India takes a 1-0 lead in the series. The second T20I will be played on 6th November at Lucknow.