Virat Kohli and Rishabh Pant reached 50, while Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Harshal Patel bowled superbly in slog-overs, while India survived some anxious moments before walking away with an eight-run win over the West Indies in the second T20I, giving them an untouchable 2-0 lead in the three-game series in Kolkata on Friday. Wicket-keeper batter Nicholas Pooran (62 off 41 balls) and Rovman Powell (68 not out of 36 balls) chased a stiff 187 hitting the combative fifties to keep them in the hunt as they needed just 29 runs from the latter two overs. But death bowling specialist Bhuvneshwar Kumar revived hope in India by removing the dangerous looking Pooran with a slower cut-off.
Under pressure after dropping Rovman Powell from his own bowling, Bhuvneshwar was brilliant, conceding just four runs into the over.
Patel had to defend 25 in the final and was hit two straight sixes, but he held back his nerves to seal the problem for India.
This was India’s 100th win in T20Is as they sealed the series on Sunday with one game to go.
Earlier, Ravi Bishnoi continued his impressive streak in his debut run, sending Brandon King (22) in his third delivery to break the second wicket line.
But Pooran and Powell faced the Indian onslaught without any hesitation.
Wicket-keeper batter Pooran continued his impressive form to take down a second straight half-century, while Powell, on the other hand, gave a fine support with a 28-ball 50 as the Windies recovered from 59/3 within nine overs.
Dropped at 21 by Bishnoi in the 10th over, Pooran brought in his fifty in 34 balls – his second in as many games – with a slog on the last over from Deepak Chahar.
Powell then completed a 28-ball fifty as India appeared to be under real pressure before Bhuvneshwar turned it around.
Previously, Kohli was back under the runs with fifty, while Pant crushed a fast unbeaten 52 to lift India to a challenging 186/5.
Kohli finished 30th in the shortest format, his first since 57th against Pakistan in the T20 World Cup on October 24 last year.
The sheer elegance of the former captain was on full display as he cut, yanked and also took the air route to his 41-ball 52 which had seven fours and one six.
Luck also favored Kohli on the day when the former skipper brought out his 30th T20I fifty with a slog over long after Jason Holder failed to get the catch as the ball went over the line.
But Kohli failed to make it big and was cleared by Chase two balls later after Windies’ off-spinner broke through his gate for his third wicket.
Chase was impressive in the mid-overs to return 3/25, including the wickets of Rohit Sharma (19) and Suryakumar Yadav (8).
Then it was Pant and Venkatesh Iyer’s show (33 from 18 balls) as they took the lead over Kieron Pollard and Romario Shepherd in their 76 run partnership of 35 balls.
Pant (52 from 28 balls) brought his third fifty to T20Is with a double in the penultimate pitch of the innings, taking only 27 balls to reach the milestone.
Previously, India had a slow start with Sheldon Cottrell hitting four dots on the trot before sacking Ishan Kishan in the second left of the day.
Kishan, who was the most expensive purchase of the IPL 2022 mega auction, looked lethargic and pressured to continue his poor form, leaving for two after his 10-ball stay.
But then it was the Kohli show in sparsely populated Eden, as the former India skipper delighted his fans with his elegant timing and stroke play.
Kohli came off goal with a whip to the square leg boundary, Kohli found his timing early and got a second boundary in the same over from Akeal Hossain.
Kohli was the aggressor and skipper Rohit was happy to play second fiddle as the duo took India’s score to nearly 50 in the first six overs.
There was a definite shift in beating India in the power play as the duo were not afraid to take the air route.
Rohit went off for 19 in 18 balls after a fine partnership with Kohli who gave up 49 runs from 36 balls before Chase gave the breakthrough in his first over removing the Indian skipper after causing a thick leading edge to be caught on the point.
In his next over, Chase was responsible for Suryakumar, but Kohli made sure there was no further damage.
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