India and West Indies clashed in the first T20I of the 3-match series at the iconic Eden Gardens in Kolkata. Mohammad Azharuddin was present to ring the bell before the start of the match, on a ground where he played many memorable knocks.
India won the toss and Rohit chose to field first and Krunal Pandya and Khaleel Ahmed made their T20I debuts. Umesh Yadav was a last-minute inclusion in the team in place of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who was ruled out due to a gastric problem.
Though West Indies are the reigning World T20 champions, a different side took the field as it was missing some stars like Russell, Narine, Gayle, and Lewis. Batting first, Windies was under pressure early on as Umesh Yadav removed Ramdin.
It was then a procession of wickets as Kuldeep Yadav picked three wickets (3/13) of Bravo, Powell, and Brathwaite, while debutants Krunal removed his MI teammate Pollard and Khaleel got rid of top-scorer Fabian Allen for 27. In the end, Windies managed to make 109/8 in 20 overs, their lowest T20I score against India.
In the chase, India lost two early wickets to Oshane Thomas’ pace, that of Rohit Sharma (6) and his bunny Shikhar Dhawan (3), who lost his stumps for the third time to Thomas.
After that, the Windies bowlers kept building the pressure on the Indian batsmen as Pant (1), Rahul (16) and Pandey (19) all well to some spirited bowling by Windies, especially Oshane Thomas (2/21) and captain Carlos Brathwaite (2/11 in four overs).
It was Dinesh Karthik (31* with 3 fours and 1 six) and Krunal Pandya (21* with 3 fours) in the end who saw India through the quicksand and towards victory.
India won the match by 5 wickets in the end with Krunal hitting the winning runs.
WI 109/8 (F ALLEN 27; K YADAV 3/13) lost to IND 110/5 (D KARTHIK 31*; C BRATHWAITE 2/11) by 5 wkts