Debutant Navdeep Saini stars as India down West Indies in T20 series opener

Debutant pacer Navdeep Saini produced an outstanding performance with the ball to help India beat West Indies by four wickets in the opening game of the T20I series played in Florida on Saturday.

The day started with the Indian captain Virat Kohli winning the toss and opting to bowl first on a wicket that a looked a little dry.

His decision proved a correct one as West Indies opening pair of Evin Lewis and John Campbell perished for ducks in the initial over of the innings. Wicket-keeper Nicholas Pooran produced a quick-fire 20 runs in a bid to revive the innings for West Indies.

Pacer Navdeep Saini came into the attack and dismissed Nicholas Pooran and Shimron Hetymer in consecutive deliveries to see West Indies reeling at 28 for 4 after 4.5 overs.

All-rounder Kieron Pollard played a composed innings and scored 49 runs off 49 balls with the help of two fours and four sixes. It was largely to Pollard’s effort as West Indies managed to a post a below-par total of 95 for the loss of nine wickets in their 20 overs.

For the visitors, pace bowler Navdeep Saini was the star of the show as he claimed figures of 3 for 17 in his fours overs. Bhuvneshwar Kumar also bowled well and picked up wicket of Evin Lewis and Keemo Paul.

India register fourth wicket win to take 1-0 lead in the three-match series

In reply, India had a shaky start to their innings as Shikhar Dhawan was trapped right in front of stumps by left-arm quick Sheldon Cottrell. Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli added 28-run partnership in a bid to stabilize the innings. The home side once made a great comeback as off-spinner

Sunil Narine dismissed Rohit Sharma and Rishabh Pant in consecutive deliveries to see India in a spot of bother at 32 for 3 after 6.4 overs.

Indian Captain Virat Kohli produced a much-needed partnership with Manish Pandey to take close to the target set by West Indies. Despite losing Kohli and Pandey in space of few overs, Ravendra Jadeja and Krunal Pandya chipped in with crucial cameos to see India complete the target in the 18th over of the innings.

For West Indies, Sheldon Cottrell, Sunil Narine and Keemo Paul Zampa claimed two wickets each. Pacer Oshane Thomas bowled well and conceded only 20 runs from his four overs.

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