The West Indies beat India by five wickets at the Warner Park Basseterre, St Kitts on Monday, August 1 in a contest that was affected by a rain delay. By the virtue of this important win, the five-match series has now been levelled at 1-1. The Indian batters had a forgettable outing and were yet again outclassed by a left-arm pacer within a month.
While it was Reece Topley who blew away the famed Indian batting line-up at Lord’s last month, this time the Men in Blue struggled miserably against Obed McCoy who bowled a good line and length to restrict the Indian batters to a below-par total. Only Hardik Pandya (31) and Ravindra Jadeja (27) showed some fightback in what was a not-so-impressive scorecard as India were all out for 138.
McCoy was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 6/17 while Jason Holder took 2/33 and Alzarri Joseph, as well as Akeal Hossain, picked a wicket each.
Devon Thomas finished in style for the West Indies
In reply, Brandon King helped the hosts stay alive in the run chase after they lost quick wickets in the middle overs despite getting off to a good start chasing a regulation target. He received good support from Devon Thomas.
While Brandon King remained unbeaten and scored 68 runs off 52 deliveries, it was Thomas who took the West Indies past the finish line in the final over. Arshdeep Singh had bowled a tight penultimate over where he conceded just six runs and took the big wicket of Rovman Powell. Nonetheless, Avesh Khan could not replicate a similar performance and ended up getting clobbered for four and six off the first two deliveries.
Winning skipper, Nicholas Pooran said:
I can finally breathe now. It has been a tough summer for us. We lost a few close games and nearly made a mess of this as well. Obed was fantastic and all the guys just used the pitch and the conditions well. A win is a win. I believe in T20, better batsmen have to bat long. Myself, Hetmyer can take more responsibility.
King should have won the game for us with the way he was batting. But hopefully he will learn from this. Thomas returned back for us after injury and came out trumps on his home ground. Obed is a bit of a freak and today he was just fantastic. He just kept picking up wickets for us. He said he would bowl full and straight on the stumps to Dinesh Karthik and it worked. Lovely to have him in the team and have that left-arm action for us.
Losing skipper, Rohit Sharma said:
Firstly, there weren’t enough runs on the board. We didn’t bat well. The pitch was playing nicely but we didn’t apply ourselves. But this can happen. When you are doing something as a batting group, you might not always succeed. But we will learn from this. It is all about giving opportunities to these guys.
[On the last over] We know what Bhuvi does for us; he has been doing it for years. Unless you give chances to guys like Avesh and Arshdeep you’ll never know. But it is just one game. They have the skills and the talent and it is all about backing them. I am really proud of the bowlers and the team.
Targets such as these can get over in 13-14 overs but we dragged it to the last over. I thought the guys executed the plans and really happy with the way the guys bowled. We have to look at some things in our batting. But I will say it again and again, this is the approach we want with the bat. We won’t panic. We won’t change anything after one loss.
Player of the Match Obed McCoy said:
This is for my mom. She is sick and she has motivated me to be a better player. The first ball wicket put pressure on the batsmen. I always look for wickets in the powerplay. I went in with a clean mind. In the previous game I was overthinking a bit. It gives me a challenge and I am just thankful for all the experiences and the challenges.