Pooran masterclass defies valiant bowling effort from India, West Indies up 2-0 in series after two-wicket win

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GEORGETOWN: An explosive half-century by Nicholas Pooran defied a brilliant power-play spell by Indian skipper Hardik Pandya and some brilliant bowling in death overs as the hosts West Indies secured a hard-fought two-wicket win over the Men in Blue in the second T20I of the five-match series at Guyana on Sunday.

India trails by 2-0 in the series.

In the chase of 152, West Indies was off to a nightmarish start when Hardik Pandya got rid of Brandon King (0) and Johnson Charles (2) in the first over itself. WI was restricted to 2/2 in the first over itself. Suryakumar took a stunner of a catch to dismiss King while Charles was caught by Tilak Varma at cover point.

Kyle Mayers joined forces with Nicholas Pooran to rebuild the Windies innings.

In the third over, Pooran smashed Pandya for 17 runs, including two fours and a six. Arshdeep’s next over went for 12 runs though he trapped Kyle Mayers lbw for 15. WI was at 32/3 in 3.4 overs.

Pooran helped WI finish off their powerplay on a high, smashing Ravi Bishnoi for 18 runs, including three fours and a six. After six overs, WI was at 61/3, with Pooran (42*) and skipper Rovman Powell (2*) unbeaten.

WI had reached the 50-run mark in 5.2 overs.

The 57-run stand between Pooran-Powell was ended by Pandya after a diving catch from Mukesh Kumar at third man to send back the WI skipper for 21 off 19 balls. WI was 89/4 in 9.5 overs.

WI ended their 10 overs at 91/4, with Pooran (50*) having reached his fifty in 29 balls and joined by Shimron Hetmyer (2*). WI reached the 100-run mark in 11.3 overs and match looked done and dusted at that point.

A delivery by Mukesh helped dismiss Pooran, with the help of Samson’s safe hands at the cover point. The bowler ended Pooran’s knock at 67 in 40 balls, with six fours and four sixes. WI was 126/5 in 14 overs.

India made a comeback into the match with two quick wickets. First was Romario Shepherd being run out for zero. Later three balls later, Jason Holder was stumped by Ishan Kishan for a duck, giving Yuzvendra Chahal his first wicket. WI was at 128/7 in 15.4 overs.

Chahal’s golden arm did its magic on the final ball of the over, sending back a dangerous Hetmyer for 22 off 22 balls after he was trapped lbw. WI was 129/8 in 16 overs.

The 18th over by Arshdeep released some pressure, giving away nine runs and leaving the hosts with 12 to chase in 12 balls.  But a single by Akael Hosein and then a six by Alzarri Joseph left Windies with just five to chase in 10 balls.

Akael hit the winning runs and WI won by two wickets with more than an over left. Hardik (3/35) and Chahal (2/19) were impressive with the ball. Arshdeep and Mukesh got one wicket each.

Earlier, Tilak Varma’s gutsy half-century was the highlight of yet another disappointing show by Indian batters as West Indies restricted the visitors to just 151/7 in their 20 overs in the second T20I of the five-match series at Guyana on Sunday.

After electing to bat first, openers Ishan Kishan and Shubman Gill once again failed to give a solid start to the Men in Blue. Though both smashed a six each to make their attacking intentions clear, Gill’s sub-par form in T20Is continued.

After hitting Alzarri Joseph for a six in the third over, ball four, Shubman went for another big hit on the next one. But the mistimed hit landed straight into the hands of Shimron Hetmyer at the backward point. Gill was out for seven. India was at 16/1 in 2.5 overs.

Suryakumar Yadav, playing his 50th T20I match for India, also failed to make an impact as he was run out for just one run off three balls by Kyle Mayers, leaving India at 18/2 in 3.3 overs.

Kishan joined forces with Tilak Varma to carry India through the remainder of the powerplay without any loss of wicket, with Kishan (14*) and Tilak (9*) unbeaten and India at 34/2 in six overs.

India reached the 50-run mark in 8.1 overs.

The budding partnership between these two left-handers was cut short at 42 runs after Romario Shepherd cleaned up Kishan for 27 off 23 balls, consisting of two fours and two sixes, leaving India at 60/3 in 9.3 overs.

At the end of 10 overs, India was at 65/3, with Sanju Samson (5*) and Tilak (20*) unbeaten.

In the 11th over end, Tilak gave India some momentum with two back-to-back boundaries against Jason Holder. Samson’s disappointing run in T20Is continued, dismissed for seven by Akael Hosein after being stumped by Nicholas Pooran. India was 76/4.

Hardik Pandya, the skipper joined Tilak, who was batting beautifully, sweeping and smashing every wrong ball.

India reached the 100-run mark in 14.2 overs.

Tilak reached his maiden half-century in 39 balls, consisting of five fours and a six.

India was 106/4 in 15 overs, with Tilak (50*) and Pandya (8*) unbeaten.

Tilak’s knock of 51 ended in 41 balls, he was caught by McCoy and Akael got his second wicket. India is 114/5 in 15.5 overs. Hardik and Axar seemed to be building a partnership, but Alzarri ended it as Pandya was clean-bowled for 24 off 18. India was 129/6 in 18 overs.

Axar Patel’s disappointing run with the bat continued as a poorly-timed shot landed into Pooran’s hands. He was gone for 14 off 12 balls and Shepherd took his second wicket. India was 139/7 in 19.1 overs.

India finished at 151/7 in 20 overs, with Arshdeep Singh (5*) and Ravi Bishnoi (8*) unbeaten. Alzarri (2/28), Romario (2/28) and Akael (2/29) took two wickets each for West Indies. (ANI)

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