Ind vs WI | Pollard’s men blow away India, take series to the decider

Shivam Dube plays a shot during the match between India vs Westindies 2nd T-20 match at Greenfield Thiruvananthapuram International Cricket Ground on Sunday, Thiruvananthapuram, 08/12/2019

Shivam Dube plays a shot during the match between India vs Westindies 2nd T-20 match at Greenfield Thiruvananthapuram International Cricket Ground on Sunday, Thiruvananthapuram, 08/12/2019   | Photo Credit: R. Ragu


Simmons & Co. deliver in a crunch game to keep the series alive; Dube, Pant come good for India

It was the World T20 champion West Indies that turned up at the Greenfield Stadium on Sunday night. Not the side that has been playing plenty of insipid white ball cricket of late.

Kieron Pollard’s men proved too good for India in front of a full house in the second T20I. They won by eight wickets with nine balls to spare.

They not just ended their losing streak to India in the shortest format, but also ensured that the third match of the series in Mumbai would be the deciding one.

The visitors’ confident chase of a challenging total was anchored by Lendl Simmons, who remained unbeaten on 67 (45b). His first-wicket stand of 73 with Evin Lewis (40, 35b) gave them the perfect start, and his 61-run partnership for the unbroken third wicket with Nicholas Pooran, who played an eye-catching cameo (38 not out, 18b), gave them the perfect finish.

Brilliant catch 

Shimron Hetmyer, too, delighted with his strokeplay before his promising knock was ended by a brilliant running catch by India captain Virat Kohli at long-on. That sensational bit of fielding wasn’t the norm, but an exception for India.

In the fifth over, Washington Sundar had dropped Simmons off Bhuvneshwar Kumar at mid-off and that would prove costly. The off-spinning all-rounder from Chennai was having a horrid time on the field for the second match in a row.

He redeemed himself a bit by beating Lewis and having him stumped, but that wasn’t enough to stop the aggressive Windies top-order from racing to the target.

Earlier, Shivam Dube showed why Royal Challengers shelled out ₹5 crore for him — an uncapped player then — in last year’s IPL auction. Coming in, rather surprisingly, as early as the fourth over, at the fall of K.L. Rahul’s wicket, he smashed 54 off 30 balls.

His maiden international fifty — in only his fifth match — mattered to India on this night, when its stalwarts at the top of the order failed to click. Sending him in at No. 3 turned out to be an inspired move.

Dube flays Pollard

After an average effort in the PowerPlay (42 for one), it was his assault on West Indies skipper Kieron Pollard in the ninth over that gave the Indian innings the impetus it badly needed. He pulled two short ones over the leg-side boundary and then sent a full toss above the ropes on the off-side. Twenty six runs came off that over.

He, however, did not last long after that stunning bit of fireworks. He holed out to Hetmyer in the covers off the impressive leg-spinner Hayden Walsh. He could not make use of the dropped catch by Pollard off the first ball of that over.

Dube’s dismissal brought Rishabh Pant to the middle and the wicket-keeper, who had shown glimpses of form at Hyderabad in the last match, ensured that India ended up with a decent total. His unbeaten 33 off 22 balls will do a world of good to the confidence of the young man who has been under some scrutiny.

It was a disappointing night with the bat for India’s big three, though. Rahul was caught at deep square-leg trying to slog-sweep left-arm spinner Khary Pierre, Rohit Sharma was bowled in his attempt to paddle Jason Holder and Kohli’s upper cut turned into a comfortable catch at short third-man.

Interestingly enough, it was Kesrick Williams who took the Indian captain’s wicket, but there was no ‘notebook’ celebration this time; he just put his finger on his lips, demanding silence.

On this night, that wasn’t the only command from the Windies that worked.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 1:02:18 AM |

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