Windies hold off India for 2-0 T20 series lead

West Indies defeated India in another close contest, by two wickets, to go 2-0 up in the five-match T20 International series at the National Stadium in Providence, Guyana, on Sunday.

After winning the toss and choosing to bat, India were restricted to 152/7 in their 20 overs, which the hosts successfully chased down, despite a late collapse that gave India hope, reaching 155/8 with seven balls remaining.

India lost opener Shubman Gill (seven) and his replacement Suryakumar Yadav (one) early on but were rescued by a quick-fire half-century from the impressive 20-year-old Tilak Varma (51 from 41 balls).

Tight bowling from the West Indies attack kept India at bay and only Ishan Kishan (27), skipper Hardik Pandya (24) and Axar Patel (14) got to double-figures.

Maroon fast bowlers Alzarri Joseph and Romario Shepherd both bagged 2/28 while spinner Akeal Hosein, who eventually hit the winning runs, grabbed 2/29.

In their turn at the crease, opener Brandon King had a horror start as he was dismissed for a golden duck by Pandya. The struggling Johnson Charles (2) fell three balls later as Windlies slumped to 2/2.

But Man-of-the-match Nicholas Pooran (67 off 40) rescued the innings with partnerships alongside Kyle Mayers (15) and skipper Roman Powell (21).

At 32/3, similar to the first T20, Pooran and Powell built a game-changing 57-run partnership. Both look sharp with the bat, especially the former who took apart spinner Ravi Bishnoi for 18 to end the powerplay.

But Powell departed caught by Mukesh Kumar off Pandya’s bowling. Pooran and hometown favourite Shimron Hetmyer (22) carried them to 126, before Pooran fell, caught by Sanju Samson off Kumar.

Pooran’s exit ushered in a devastating slide which saw West Indies suddenly reeling at 128/8. But Hosein (16 not out) and Alzarri Joseph (10 not out) steadied the rocking ship with a run-a-ball needed, to lead the hosts over the line.

The third T20 bowls off at the same venue on Tuesday and the last two matches begin on Saturday and Sunday respectively, at the Central Broward Regional Park in Lauderhill, Florida.

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