T20: Evin Lewis shines as West Indies beat India by nine wickets
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Riding on Evin Lewis' unbeaten century, West Indies defeated India by nine wickets in the one-off Twenty20 International match at the Sabina Park here on Sunday. Lewis slammed 125 runs in just 62 balls to guide his team to a comfortable victory over the visitors. His innings was laced with six boundaries and 12 sixes. Chasing a mammoth 191, West Indies got off to a perfect start as openers Lewis and Chris Gayle (18) forged 82-run partnership in the 8.2 overs before Gayle was dismissed by left arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav. Incoming batsman Marlon Samuels (36) then joined the in-form Lewis and the duo thrashed Indian bowlers all around the park to hand West Indies a victory with nine balls remaining. For India, Kuldeep was the lone wicket taker.
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Earlier, put in to bat, India posted a challenging total of 190/6. Dinesh Karthik was highest scorer for the visitors with 48 runs off 29 balls which included five boundaries and three sixes. Pacers Jerome Taylor and Kesrick Williams were the most successful among the West Indies bowlers with figures of 2/31 and 2/36 respectively. Asked to bat first, India were off to a good start with skipper Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan producing an opening stand of 64 runs in 33 balls. Kohli, who smashed Williams for a six and a four off the first two balls of the sixth over, mistimed the very next delivery when the pacer delivered a slower ball for an easy catch to Sunil Narine at mid-on.
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Dhawan was also dismissed just two balls later when there was a horrible piece of miscommunication between him and Rishabh Pant and Williams caught the former short of his crease with an excellent throw. However, Pant and Karthick brought the innings back on track with an 86-run partnership in 59 balls. The hosts struck back when Taylor removed Pant and Mahendra Singh with consecutive balls in the 17th over. But Ravindra Jadeja (13 not out) and Ravichandran Ashwin (11 not out) delivered a strong finish to help India to a big total.
Commenting on the match, Kohli said the team did not step up to the chances they got which resulted in the loss. The Delhi player also praised Karthik's knock. "I thought even in the first innings we could have 20-30 runs extra. We were on course to get 220 but we did not grab our chances and when you don't, you do not deserve to win," Kohli said after the match. "We couldn't really carry on. Dinesh was really good in the middle overs but no one got an 80 odd. We also couldn't take our catches which did not help," he added.
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Man of the Match Lewis, who scored a brilliant century for the hosts, said: "I am enjoying playing a team like India. It was a lot on my mind after five failures and I remembered that (thing) today. It is easier for me while batting with Chris (Gayle), he takes a lot of pressure off me. I am not sure what this game would do to me but I am very happy with my performance today and look to continue it further."