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Rain, wet outfield denies India chance to level series

BCCI Media Team

India’s hopes of leveling the series after a heartbreaking one-run loss in the thrilling first T20 International against West Indies were dashed when the second and the final match was called off due to wet patches on the outfield following rain. After being under the pump for the majority of the 20 overs in the first game, Indian bowlers put up a much improved and disciplined performance to bowl West Indies out for just 143 runs in 19.4 overs at Central Broward Regional Park Stadium Turf Ground, Lauderhill.

When India’s chase began, openers Rohit Sharma and Ajinjya Rahane were batting on 10 and four respectively, when the play was halted with India 15/0 after two overs, needing another 129 runs from 18 overs. With the outfield developing wet patches, even three more overs of play, which would have ensured a result was not possible.

Earlier, captain MS Dhoni once again won the toss and elected to bowl first. The Indian bowlers were sharp and made brilliant use of their variations. Leg spinner Amit Mishra, who replaced Stuart Binny was in the thick of the action and on many occasions, the West Indies batsmen failed to read him. Mishra removed the dangerous Johnson Charles (43 off 24) on the first ball he bowled in the final Powerplay over and bowled Dwayne Bravo with a googly and captain Carlos Brathwaite with a flighted delivery.

As per the available analysis, R. Ashwin bowled four doosras and one carom ball in his three overs and dismissed Lendl Simmons and Kieron Pollard and also picked up 200 T20 career wickets. The move to have six specialist bowlers on a pitch that is tailor-made for big hitting worked brilliantly as Bhunveshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah returned with two wickets each. Bhuvneshwar and Bumrah showed they had quickly learned their mistakes from the previous game as they bowled 11 and 13 dot balls respectively.

Such was the improved performance that West Indies batsmen who seemed unstoppable in the first game, failed to generate any momentum on Sunday. Not only did they hit 102 fewer runs, the big hits too dried up as only six shots cleared the boundary while on Sunday they had smashed 21 sixes.

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