Kohli stars again in run chase as India ease to victory over West Indies

By Sports Desk December 06, 2019

Captain Virat Kohli led from the front, hitting an unbeaten 94, as India overhauled West Indies' total of 207-5 with ease to record a six-wicket win in the Twenty20 series opener.

While not at his fluent best in the early stages, Kohli picked up the pace in the second half of India’s impressive run chase, rushing his side over the line with eight balls to spare in Hyderabad.

The right-hander was afforded time to get his eye in by the efforts of team-mate KL Rahul, who passed 1,000 runs in the format at international level during his knock of 62.

West Indies had cleared the boundary 15 times to set what appeared to be a stiff target at the halfway stage, Shimron Hetmyer leading the onslaught with 56. His maiden international T20 half-century was not without the odd slice of luck, however, as India missed a number of opportunities in the field.

The home team failed to take three successive chances at the start of the 17th over, allowing West Indies to post the second highest total by a touring team in a T20 fixture on Indian soil.

Evin Lewis (40) and Brandon King (31) added 51 for the second wicket, while captain Kieron Pollard weighed in with 37 from 19 deliveries, matching Hetmyer’s tally of four sixes.

Jason Holder managed two maximums himself in the final over as he contributed 24 not out, though he was on the receiving end of some heavy hitting during an India reply that overcame the early setback of losing Rohit Sharma for eight.

Rahul - back at the top of the order in place of the injured Shikhar Dhawan - helped put on a century stand with his skipper before becoming the second batsman to fall to left-arm spinner Khary Pierre (2-44).

Still, by that stage Kohli had moved through the gears as he motored towards the target. Kesrick Williams came in for some particularly heavy punishment, leaking 60 runs from his 3.4 overs, as India prevailed in the first of three T20 matches between the sides.

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