India posted a thrilling victory over the West Indies in the first match of the three-match series by 3 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the series.
Chasing a target of 309, the West Indies were in a position of strength at one stage, but tight bowling from India in the last 10 overs saw them lose the match for just 3 runs.
Invited to bat, India posted a mammoth 308 for 7 with captain Shikhar Dhawan top-scoring with a 99-ball 97. This was after the West Indies skipper had won the toss and elected to bowl first on what looked like a good bowling track.
Dhawan was well supported by opening partner Shubman Gill, who made a dashing 64 off 53 balls, as the duo added 119 runs for the first wicket. India lost the second wicket in the 34th over and then lost a couple of quick wickets in between 35 to 42 overs. But a late small surge from Axar Patel (21 off 21 balls) and sensible Deepak Hooda (27 off 32 balls) saw the team reach a competitive total.
In the last 15 overs of India’s innings, they managed to score only 83 runs for the loss of 5 wickets. This meant that their bowlers had to walk out to defend a relatively low total.
Fortunately, the Indian bowlers were up to the task and they managed to restrict the opposition to 305 runs in their chase. This meant that India won the match by 3 runs, much to the relief of the team and the fans.
This was a victory achieved without two of India’s star players – Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma – and according to the Sport News BD experts, it will give the team a lot of confidence going into the rest of the series.
So, what was the reason for India’s poor batting in the last 15 overs? Was it a lack of concentration? Or was the opposition’s bowling simply too good? Only time will tell, but one thing is for sure – India’s bowlers did well to defend their team’s total and help them to victory.
The second match of the series will be played on Sunday.