Pooran encourages teammates to embrace pressure moments

India's Dinesh Karthik (right) plays a shot off the bowling of Jason Holder (left) during the 1st T20 International between the West Indies and India at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy, Tarouba on Friday. - AYANNA KINSALE
India's Dinesh Karthik (right) plays a shot off the bowling of Jason Holder (left) during the 1st T20 International between the West Indies and India at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy, Tarouba on Friday. - AYANNA KINSALE

INDIA grabbed a 1-0 lead in the five-match T20 series against the West Indies with a comfortable 68-run win at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba, on Friday.

India, who were sent in to bat first, posted a healthy score of 190/6 in 20 overs with captain Rohit Sharma and Dinesh Karthik leading the way. In reply, West Indies could only muster 122/8 in their 20 overs.

After the match West Indies captain Nicholas Pooran said his team must be ready to deliver. "We need to hold our nerve in big moments especially when the pressure is on. We need to embrace it...a big crowd in. These guys have to get accustom to this atmosphere."

Despite it being a work day, halfway through the West Indies innings at 1.30 pm, approximately 9,000 tickets were sold, bringing an electric atmosphere to the ground.

Pooran, who felt India got 20 more runs too many, said West Indies failed to put together partnerships when batting.

"We definitely disappointed everyone here today in the stadium. We going to have games like this where we going to get shut out for not enough. I think batsmen did get starts, but we did not capitalise on those starts."

Sharma, opening the batting, struck 64 off 44 deliveries. His innings, which included seven fours and two sixes, held the India top order together.

The India skipper played with his usual style, timing the ball to perfection which would have impressed even the West Indies fans.

Sharma and fellow opener Suryakumar Yadav got India out the gates quickly, putting on 44 inside five overs.

West Indies supporters during Friday's first T20 International against India at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy, Tarouba on Friday. - AYANNA KINSALE

West Indies fought back grabbing the wickets of Yadav for 24 and Shreyas Iyer for duck.

Akeal Hosein took a spectacular diving catch at first slip to get rid of Iyer and give left-arm fast bowler Obed McCoy the wicket.

West Indies did not keep India at bay for long as Rishabh Pant joined his captain.

The pair kept the scoreboard ticking, before Hosein took another brilliant catch off Keemo Paul’s bowling, fielding at short third man, to dismiss Pant for 14.

After Hardik Pandya fell for one and Sharma was sent back to the pavilion, India were reduced to 127/5 in the 15th over.

West Indies seemed set to keep India below 180, but the visitors showed their batting depth.

Dinesh Karthik belted 41 not out off 19 balls to steer India to a competitive total. He struck four fours and two sixes.

Fast bowler Alzarri Joseph grabbed 2/46 in four overs for the West Indies and left-arm spinner Hosein was economical, claiming 1/14 in four overs.

In response, West Indies struggled at the crease.

Opener Shamarh Brooks top-scored with 20 and Keemo Paul scored 19 not out as the West Indies did not deliver a quality performance.

Kyle Mayers and Brooks got West Indies off to a promising start hitting a few lusty blows.

However, when Mayers fell for 15, with the score on 22, the innings lost momentum.

With wickets falling, the West Indies were always behind the run-rate and never looked like achieving the target.

The Indian spinners caused problems for the West Indies batsmen as off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin grabbed 2/22 in four overs and leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi picked up 2/26 in four overs.

Left-arm pacer Arshdeep Singh was also among the wickets grabbing 2/24 in four overs.

Discussing his performance, Singh said, "Feeling pretty good and very happy that the team got over the line and really excited for the matches to come."

The teams will now travel to St Kitts for the second and third matches of the series at Warner Park, Basseterre. The second match will be played on Monday from 10.30 am.



India inns:

R Sharma c Hetmyer b Holder*64

S Yadav c Holder b Hosein*24

S Iyer c Hosein b McCoy*0

R Pant c Hosein b Paul*14

H Pandya c McCoy b Joseph*1

R Jadeja c Paul b Joseph*16

D Karthik not out*41

R Ashwin not out*13

EXTRAS (B4, LB4, NB1, W8)*17

Total for six wickets (20 overs)*190

Did not bat: R Bishnoi, B Kumar, A Singh.

Fall of wickets: 44; 45; 88; 102; 127; 138.

BOWLING: McCoy 4-0-30-1 (W1); Holder 4-0-50-1 (W2, NB1); Hosein 4-0-14-1 (W1); Joseph 4-0-46-2 (W1); Smith 2-0-18-0; Paul 2-0-24-1 (W2).

West Indies inns:

K Mayers c Kumar b Singh*15

S Brooks b Kumar*20

J Holder b Jadeja*0

N Pooran c Pant b Ashwin*18

R Powell b Bishnoi*14

S Hetmyer c Yadav b Ashwin*14

A Hosein b Singh*11

O Smith st Pant b Bishnoi*0

K Paul not out*19

A Joseph not out*5

EXTRAS (LB1, NB2, W3)*6

Total for eight wickets (20 overs)*122

Did not bat: O McCoy.

Fall of wickets: 22; 27; 42; 66; 82; 86; 86; 101.

BOWLING: Kumar 2-1-11-1; Singh 4-0-24-2 (W1, NB1); Jadeja 4-0-26-1; Ashwin 4-0-22-2; Pandya 2-0-12-0; Bishnoi 4-0-26-2 (W2, NB1).

Result: India won by 68 runs.

Series: India lead five-match series 1-0.

Man of the Match: Dinesh Karthik (India).


"Pooran encourages teammates to embrace pressure moments"

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