Virat Kohli’s 94* leads India to stunning victory

Ind v WI, 1st T20I, report

A Virat Kohli masterclass took India to an incredible six-wicket win over West Indies in the opening T20I of the three-match series in Hyderabad.

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Kohli finished on 94 not out from just 50 balls to stun West Indies, after the visitors had looked set for victory. With nine overs left, India were 96/1 and required 112, with the India captain struggling to find his usual tempo. He was on 26 from 23 balls, and West Indies’ attack was not allowing him to cut loose.

At the other end, KL Rahul was the man setting the foundation; his half-century arrived from 37 balls, and while he fell a couple of sixes later, the next man in kept up the good work. The exuberant Rishbah Pant deposited his first ball for six, and Kohli proceeded to let loose the next over.

Jason Holder was hit for six over long-off to kickstart the 15th over, and Kesrick Williams bore the brunt of a pumped-up Kohli from the other end. A 23-run over set up a favourable equation, with 31 runs required from the last four overs.

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While Pant and Shreyas Iyer departed, Kohli was happy to take matters into his own hands; he finished the match with eight balls to spare, a simply staggering effort.

West Indies would have felt confident just a couple of hours earlier, having put an imposing total of 207/5 on the board. Evin Lewis kicked things off with a 17-ball 40, while Brandon King offered a useful 31. Shimron Hetmyer top-scored with a half-century, while power came in the form of Kieron Pollard (37 from 19) and Jason Holder (24 from 9).

Deepak Chahar went for 56 from his four, with only Ravindra Jadeja going at less than nine an over. They needn’t have worried. A Kohli special did the trick just a couple of hours later, the India captain hitting his T20I best to give his side the lead in the series.

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