India chased down the target of 208 against West Indies in the first T20I at Hyderabad on Friday to register their highest successful T20I run chase. India's previous highest successful run chase had come on December 12, 2009, when they chased down a 207-run target against Sri Lanka.
Team India captain Virat Kohli smashed his highest score in T20I cricket after scoring an unbeaten 94 off 50 deliveries against West Indies on Friday. The 31-year-old slammed six sixes and six fours during his match-winning knock. Kohli's previous highest score was 90*, which he scored off 55 deliveries against Australia on January 26, 2016.
By the time India’s 100 had come up, Kohli was on 32, with more mistimed shots than usual. But Kohli knew the key was to hang in there. A needless provocation in the form of a stare from Williams, who wasn’t having as good a day as fast bowling partner Sheldon Cottrell, was just what Kohli needed. Kohli hit a wristy six over wide long-on and celebrated it animatedly, suggesting he was striking Williams off his notebook.
Earlier in the game, India’s bowlers realized quickly how this West Indies wasn’t one to give in easily. Before India introduced Yuzvendra Chahal, the only wrist spinner picked to play West Indies had already hammered 91 in the first nine overs.
Opening the innings in the absence of injured Shikhar Dhawan, Rahul played fluently to score his seventh T20I fifty, during which he hit five boundaries and four sixes to make a case for himself to be in India's squad for next year's T20 World Cup.
When Pollard came on to bat, Sharma quickly went to offer advice to Kohli. But India’s bowlers neither found the length nor any strategy to work. It was Dube who was guilty of conceding two boundary balls that got the West Indies skipper going. Hetmyer found such rhythm that even the partisan crowd applauded his fifty.
India, however, gave away 63 runs in the last five overs. The second T20I of the three-match series will take place on Sunday.