The Indian cricket team took a 1-0 lead in the three-match series against West Indies after a close three-run win in Port of Spain on Saturday. After the visitors set a target of 309 for West Indies, the hosts were reduced to 196/5 by the 37th over. However, Brandon King (54), Akil Hossain (34*) and Romario Shepherd (39*) played crucial innings as the match was decided in the last over. West Indies needed five runs to win off the ball but Shepherd could take only one run (bye) off Mohammad Siraj.
Going into the last over of the match, the Indian camp could not calm down. In a video posted by BCCI with the caption “No shortage of action and emotions!”, it can be seen that head coach Rahul Dravid and other members of the Indian team are quite excited.
WATCH: Tense Indian Dressing Room
No shortage of action and emotion!
—BCCI (@BCCI) 23 July 2022
In the match, Shikhar Dhawan scored 97 while Shubham Gill scored a brilliant 64 in his ODI comeback before India held their nerves to seal a three-run win over West Indies in the first match of the series. . Openers Dhawan (97 off 99 balls) and Gill (64 off 53) shared a 119-run partnership before West Indies restricted India to 308 for seven.
West Indies needed 15 runs in the final over to chase down the record at the Queens Park Oval, but Mohammad Siraj was able to stop Romario Shepherd (38 not out on 25).
Kyle Meyers (75 off 68) and Shamar Brooks (46 off 61) at the top of the order raised West Indies’ hopes with a 117-run stand for the second wicket. In the end, West Indies fell short and finished at 305 for six.
Shardul Thakur had earlier chased down the couple to bring India back into the game as he removed the pair of Meyers and Brooks.
The highly-rated Meyers played some brilliant strokes in his innings, including a one-legged pull shot from Siraj.
Captain Nicholas Pooran (25 off 26) came and punished the famous Krishna with two flat sixes over deep square leg and deep midwicket.
The hosts needed 60 runs from the last 90 balls and a 56-run stand between King and Akil Hossein (32 not out) kept India on the edge. Yuzvendra Chahal, however, made a timely breakthrough to make the task difficult for West Indies.
The home team was chased by Shepherd and Hossein, whose brave partnership went in vain.
Earlier, Gill, playing his first ODI since December 2020, played some brilliant strokes while Dhawan took his time before switching gears.
Shreyas Iyer, who has faced his trouble of late with the short ball, was back in the middle of the run after scoring 54 off 57 balls.
The opening pair of Gill and Dhawan provided the launchpad for a total of over 350 before being run out in the 18th over.
Gill, one of the most attentive batsmen when he was in full flow, was very comfortable against the fast bowlers.
Gill slams Alzarri Joseph for a six before he amused the crowd with a perfectly placed punch for a boundary on the back foot. He was equally engaging in playing cover drives when the ball was pitched.
His innings included six fours and two sixes. West Indies captain Nicholas Pooran delivered a brilliant direct hit to dismiss him. It was Gill’s maiden ODI half-century which was his fourth match.
Dhawan, who plays only one format and had a lean run in England, carried his innings well and Gill came out strong at the other end. The southpaw smashed 10 fours and three sixes. His go-to shot was a slog sweep from left-arm spinner Gudakesh Moti.
Another left-arm spinner, Akil Hossein, impressed by swinging the ball quickly.
India were ready for a score of over 350 but Dhawan’s seventh dismissal in the 90s led to a middle-order collapse, reducing the visitors to 252 for five from 213 for one.
Sanju Samson (12) missed a good chance to make an impact while Suryakumar Yadav (13) fell on a loose shot.
Deepak Hooda (27) and Axar Patel (21) put on a 42-run partnership for the sixth wicket to take India past 300.
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