Rain Snatches Away Possible Victory from Team India against West Indies in Florida

August 29 15:52 2016

indNew Delhi, Monday, August 29 – Central Broward Regional Park Stadium Turf Ground, Lauderhill in Florida was the same ground for 2nd T20 International where opening T20 match took place on August 27 between India and West Indies.

Indian squad this time included Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli, Lokesh Rahul, MS Dhoni Ravindra Jadeja, Amit Mishra, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Ravichandran Ashwin and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Stuart Binny, who gave five sixes in his one over in the opening T20, Umesh Yadav and Shikhar Dhawan were on bench. West Indies Playing XI looked once again strong having Evin Lewis, Andre Fletcher, Marlon Samuels, Lendl Simmons, Kieron Pollard, Andre Russell, Dwayne Bravo, Carlos Brathwaite, Sunil Narine, Samuel Badree and Johnson Charles. Those in extras were Jason Holder and Chris Gayle.

If truth be told then there was a lot of difference in the first and second T20 matches played on Saturday and Sunday. In the 1st T20I, both teams felt ease in pocketing runs. West Indies, who seemed confident of putting somewhere about 260 runs or more after maintaining a good strike rate, were restricted at a total of 245 runs attained for the loss of six wickets. Evin Lewis certainly stole the show for playing a knock of 100 runs in 49 balls, with five boundaries and nine sixes. Charles did his bit too and gave his team a wonderful start, which actually set the foundation of an interesting contest. The bowlers were punished as West Indies batsmen were making sure to pocket runs in speed. The idea of brilliancy in their play can be understood with the fact that 21 sixes were hit by them, along with 13 boundaries.

Indian skipper Dhoni tried his best to change bowling from time to time but breakthroughs did not come as expected. Chasing down the mammoth total wasn’t likely as pressure shifts automatically on the team batting second if a good score is put by the opponents. Binny bowled for just one over and gave 32 runs. Same story almost went with Shami, Jadeja, Bumrah and Ashwin. When it was India’s turn to bat, they were brilliant too despite not starting well since Rahane was dismissed early at a score of 7. Losing Kohli at 16 runs (4 x 3) was a true shocker as he being the kind of player with potential to change the outcome through his outstanding play. It has rightly been said that whatever happens, happens for good. Kohli’s dismissal made Rahul to arrive on the crease. The young right-handed batsman ended with an innings of 110 runs in just 51 deliveries. His knock comprised 12 boundaries and five sixes.

Opener Sharma showcased great innings as well, ending up with 62 runs in 28 balls, with four sixes and same number of boundaries. It was unfortunate that Dhoni, who got to play the last ball, played a wrong shot giving his wicket to Bravo when Samuels took a catch, which took away the chance of winning from India. It is not that Dhoni did not play his natural game. He scored 43 runs of 25 balls, together with a couple of sixes and fours but it was a wrongly timed shot which allowed West Indies player to enjoy the victory. The nail-biting contest was thoroughly enjoyed by supporters from both sides. Indian fans were disappointed, though. However, it is understandable that pressure is sky-high when everything depends on the last ball. Many can argue, Dhoni would have played like this or that to tie the match, but sometimes these things do not happen as cricket is not a scripted game.

He certainly wanted improvement in the next game and that’s why elected to bowl first post winning the toss at a time when a few captains may have decided to bat first to not let opponents see another opportunity of hitting big shots. His teammates did exactly what was likely from them a day ago when India were eyeing to level the T20 series 1-1. The West Indies side was all out in 19.4 overs after accumulating 143 runs. Johnson Charles and Evin Lewis once again looked forward to a strong start but Shami did not let that happen. Evin Lewis, the centurion and Player of the Match during 1st T20, played a wrong shot, giving Mishra a chance to pouch the ball when he was playing at a score of 7 in 6 balls, together with a four. Charles, who was doing good, succumbed to Mishra on the first ball by him. The opening batsman scored 43 runs in 25 balls, with the help of five boundaries and a couple of sixes.

Lendl Simmons was out thanks to brilliant stumping by Dhoni in Ashwin’s over. 19 runs in 19 balls (4 x 3) were pocketed by Simmons. Marlon Samuels was dismissed by Bumrah at a score of 5 in 10 balls when Dhoni was quick in catching the ball behind the wickets. Kieron Pollard who was looking dangerous with a six and four, was lbw by Ashwin and had to go back to the dressing room post scoring 13 runs in 8 balls. Andre Fletcher, the wicket-keeper batsman from West Indies, lost his wicket when Bumrah bowled a Yorker. He could only score 3 runs in 9 balls.  Dwayne Bravo’s dismissal by Mishra at a score of 3 was a real jolt.  Andre Russell’s wicket got in the hands of Kohli when Bhuvneshwar was called on the bowling attack. He struck a six but couldn’t go beyond getting 13 runs in 15 balls. He certainly wasn’t happy with the way he lost his wicket when expectations were soaring from him.

Carlos Brathwaite – the captain of West Indies – lost his wicket to Mishra at a score of 18, though he struck a couple of fours and a six. West Indies innings came to an end after Samuel Badree was out by Shami at a score of 1. Sunil Narine was not out at 9 runs. He also hit a six.  The Men in Blue were in the game right from the beginning. The pitch that supported batting of both sides in the previous match was to Test India’s ability to bat this time after the rivals did not succeed to put an impressive total. It was unfortunate that poor weather did not allow the game to happen when Rahane and Sharma were batting at the scores of 4 and 10, respectively. 15 runs were scored by India in 2 overs. Since the play can’t be resumed, West Indies won the T20 series 1-0. Even though, Indian side was disappointed as the match can’t be conducted further,  they will be hopeful to do well in the upcoming series against New Zealand that starts September 22.

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