Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
West Indies opener Evin Lewis lit up Sabina Park in Jamaica as he hammered a career-best 125 not out to lead his side to an impressive nine-wicket win over India in the one-off Twenty20 International.
With his hundred, Lewis became only the third player in history after compatriot Chris Gayle and former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum to score two centuries in Twenty20 Internationals.
Being put in to bat first, India got off to an excellent start as Shikhar Dhawan and captain Virat Kohli amassed a 64-run partnership before Kohli was dismissed by Kesrick Williams for 39.
Two balls later, Dhawan was on his way back to the pavilion for 23 after he was run out by Williams.
Dinesh Karthik and Rishabh Pant calmed things down for India with an 86-run stand before Karthik was clean bowled by Marlon Samuels for 48, which came off 29 balls and included five boundaries and three sixes.
Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Mahendra Singh Dhoni only scored two runs, while Pant ended up making 38 before he was caught behind off the bowling of Jerome Taylor.
With Kedar Jadhav falling shortly after, India finished on 190/6 off their 20 overs.
Williams and Taylor picked up two wickets apiece, while Samuels chipped in with one.
Chasing 191 to win, Lewis and Gayle ensured the West Indies got off to a strong start as they put together an 82-run partnership, during which Lewis sailed past his fifty, before Gayle was caught behind off the bowling of Kuldeep Yadav for 18.
However, that was to be India’s last taste of success for the remainder of the match as Lewis and Samuels finished things off with an unbeaten 112-run stand, during which Lewis brought up his hundred.
Lewis ended up making 125 off 62 balls, which included six boundaries and 12 sixes, while Samuels remained undefeated on 36 off 29 deliveries, which included five boundaries and a six.
Kuldeep was the only bowler to take a wicket.
Kohli was disappointed to have lost, and said: “Even in the first innings, we could have added 25-30 extra. We were on course for 230. And in the field as well, we dropped a few chances and if you don’t grab them you don’t deserve to win. If you give a good start up the order, one batsman has to bat through. I think Dinesh was good, but we needed someone to get 80-90 which a team needs in T20 cricket, I think. Then we didn’t start well with the ball and didn’t field well either.
“All these games are good feeders of how guys react to situations. West Indies have a good T20 team, they have carried on with the same team for a couple of years. And in the experimental stage, we’d have up and downs. But we need to keep going. One game in the ODIs we lost, we won three convincingly. T20s is anyone’s game, and one game doesn’t make a series according to me. Overall, we enjoyed the tour.”
West Indies skipper Carlos Brathwaite was thrilled to have ended the series on a high, and said: “Very happy. Yesterday we asked for the batters to go out and express themselves. I gave them the captain’s incentive, whoever goes and gets a fifty gets half my match fee. We wanted to put smiles on the faces of the fans and that’s what we come back to do.
“We wanted to wrestle the game back against them. We’ve seen the IPL, we know how Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowls at the death and we wanted to make him bowl more in the first few overs and that’s a box ticked. Then Evin just played magnificently. He just played on, played through so big kudos to him. It was a good score on the board, but we always knew we could get it.
“Kestick Williams has produced a fantastic performance, carries it on from Pakistan to Afghanistan and here. His figures might not reflect it, but he got Kohli out, the direct hit, and in the sixth over he had two new batsmen in and that certainly helped.”
Lewis was named Man of the Match, and said: “It was a good game. Quality bowlers, and once you get a hundred against a team like India, it’s a good hundred. Five games in a row, in the ODIs, I didn’t do well. But I kept believing in my ability and today I came out trumps. Chris going after the bowling makes it easier for me to score, so I’m thankful to bat with him and I hope I can keep doing my best for the West Indies.”