The Indian cricket team have taken a 1-0 lead in their three-game series against the West Indies after a narrow three-run victory in Port of Spain on Saturday. After the visitors set a goal of 309 for the West Indies, the hosts were reduced to 196/5 by 37th over. However, Brandon King (54), Akeal Hosain (34*) and Romarioi Shepherd (39*) played crucial knocks when the match was decided in the latter over. The West Indies needed five runs to win off the ball, but Shepherd could only take one run (bye) from Mohammed Siraj.
With the end of the match, the Indian camp could not remain calm. A video posted by the BCCI with the caption “No shortage of action and emotions!” shows head coach Rahul Dravid and other members of the Indian squad are quite animated.
Watch: A tense Indian locker room
No lack of action & emotions!
— BCCI (@BCCI) July 23, 2022
In the match, Shikhar Dhawan made a well-made 97, while Shubmam Gill made a stylish 64 in his ODI comeback before India curbed its nerves to take a three-run win over West Indies in the series opener. Openers Dhawan (97 off 99 balls) and Gill (64 off 53) tied for 119 points before the West Indies fought back to limit India to 308 for seven.
The West Indies needed 15 of the final to set a record chase at Queens Park Oval, but Mohammed Siraj was able to stop a raging Romario Shepherd (38 not out of 25).
At the top of the order, Kyle Mayers (75 out of 68) and Shamarh Brooks (46 out of 61) boosted the West Indies’ hopes with a 117 run second wicket score before Brandon King (54 out of 66) took the game deep . In the end, the West Indies fell short, finishing at 305 for six.
Shardul Thakur had previously struck twice in the pursuit to bring India back into the game when he eliminated set duo Mayers and Brooks.
The highly regarded Mayers played some spectacular strokes in his innings, including a one-legged pull-shot on Siraj.
Skipper Nicholas Pooran (25 of 26) came in and punished Prasidh Krishna with two flat sixes over deep square leg and deep midwicket.
The hosts needed 60 of the last 90 balls and the 56-run tie between King and Akeal Hosein (32 not out of 32) kept India on the brink. However, Yuvzvendra Chahal came with a timely breakthrough to make the job for the West Indies more difficult.
The home side was chased by Shepherded and Hosein whose valiant collaboration was in vain.
Previously, Gill, who played his first ODI since December 2020, played some superb shots as Dhawan took the time to change gears.
Shreyas Iyer, who has been struggling with short ball lately, was back on the runs with a smooth 54 out of 57 balls.
The opening duo of Gill and Dhawan provided the launch pad for a grand total of 350 plus before the former was used up in the 18th against the course of the game.
Gill, one of the most eye-catching hitters in full flow, was very comfortable against the fast bowlers.
Gill chopped Alzarri Joseph for a six before delighting the crowd with a perfectly placed punch from the back foot for a boundary. He was equally attractive as he played the cover drives when the ball was tossed.
His innings consisted of six fours and a pair of sixes. It took a brilliant direct hit from West Indian captain Nicholas Pooran to fire him. It was Gill’s first ODI fifty in what was his fourth game.
Dhawan, who plays only one format and had a meager run in England, played his innings well with Gill on the other side. The left-hander collected 10 fours and three sixes. His go-to shot was the slog sweep of left arm spinner Gudakesh Motion.
The other left-spinner Akeal Hosein impressed by making the ball spin sharply.
India was set to score over 350, but Dhawan’s resignation for the seventh time in the 1990s led to a middle-class collapse, with attendances reduced to 252 for five, from 213 for one.
Sanju Samson (12) lost a good chance to impress, while Suryakumar Yadav (13) came down on a loose shot.
Deepak Hooda (27) and Axar Patel (21) brought India past 300 with a 42-run tie for the sixth wicket.
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