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Nicholas Pooran guides West Indies to win over India, lead series 2-0

CricketNicholas Pooran guides West Indies to win over India, lead series 2-0

Guyana: In-form power-hitter Nicholas Pooran was the hero as the West Indies broke a seven-year drought by defeating India by two wickets in the second T20I of their series in Guyana.

Pooran smashed 67 from just 40 deliveries as the West Indies successfully chased down India’s modest total of 152/7 with seven balls remaining to give the Caribbean side a 2-0 advantage in the five-game T20I series.

It was a mature performance from both Pooran and the West Indies, who displayed their prowess in the shortest format of the game to register consecutive T20I victories over India for the first time since 2016.

Pooran strode to the crease with his side in a spot of bother at 2/2 in the first over and was finally out on the final delivery of the 14th over with his team in a strong position.

India did claim three quick wickets following Pooran’s departure to provide a glimmer of hope, but bowlers Akeal Hosein (16*) and Alzarri Joseph (10*) held their nerve to ensure the hosts held on.

Pooran was thrilled to make a strong contribution and believes his team are building well ahead of co-hosting next year’s ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.

“It’s nice to contribute and win games for the team,” Pooran said.

“We are not really focused on them (India) to be honest, we’re just happy that we are 2-0 up in this series.  

“We are focusing on controlling what we can, getting better with our skills, game awareness and try to put complete performances together.”

India captain Hardik Pandya picked up three wickets with the ball and only youngsters Tilak Varma (51) and Ishan Kishan (27) contributed more runs than the 24 he scored when at the crease during the middle overs.

The India skipper was left to rue the performance from his batters, after his side lost wickets at regular intervals after winning the toss and electing to bat and only managed to post a below-par score.

“That was not a pleasing batting performance by us,” he said.

“The wickets were falling and the track was on the slower side and we were not good enough to get to 160-plus. 

“The way Pooran has been batting makes it difficult to rotate spinners. It doesn’t matter if someone takes the ball away or into him. The way he batted from 2/2, it was incredible.”

Pandya did save some praise for Varma, who stroked an impressive half-century in just his second international appearance and believes the left-hander has a bright future in the game.

“The way he has been batting, that is something we are looking at. A left-hander at No.4 gives us a right-left combination throughout,” Pandya added.

“The youngsters (in India’s team) are coming with confidence and fearlessness.”

The West Indies now get the chance to break another seven-year drought by winning a T20I series against India for the first time since 2016, with the next match of to be held at the same venue in Guyana on Tuesday.

The final two matches will then be held in Lauderhill on August 12 and August 13.

Courtesy: ICC

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