By now, every nation must know that Virat Kohli is the ultimate chase-master in limited overs formats. Every nation must also know that making Kohli angry during a chase is not such a good idea. The West Indies committed that cardinal mistake of making Kohli angry and the guilty party was Kesrick Williams. Kohli's fury was the tour-de-force as his 23rd fifty India registered their highest successful chase in Twenty20 history to win by six wickets on Thursday at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad. Kohli registered his highest individual score while India secured their seventh straight win against the West Indies. India chose to bowl with Kohli claiming that the dew would play a vital factor towards the end of the innings.
Deepak Chahar continued from where he left off in the series against Bangladesh as he picked Lendl Simmons with an away-swinger for 2. However, Brandon King and Evin Lewis turned the momentum towards the West Indies as they dealt primarily in sixes and fours. Lewis was the prime aggressor while King gave him good support. The powerplay yielded good returns for the West Indies with Lewis looking good for a fifty but Washington Sundar earned redemption by trapping him in front for 40.
Ravindra Jadeja struck when Brandon King missed a slog to be stumped. Shimron Hetmyer and Kieron Pollard though continued the momentum as India missed their line and length frequently. Hetmyer, who had a moderate record in T20Is, showed his prowess with some fine strokeplay. The exhibition by Hetmyer might be galling for Royal Challengers Bangalore, who released the West Indies player after a poor run. Hetmyer notched up his fifty and Pollard slammed two sixes off Chahar in a chaotic 16th over that saw Rohit Sharma saving two boundaries and dropping a catch. Yuzvendra Chahal's double strike in the 18th over gave India hope of restricting Windies to below 200 but Jason Holder and Denesh Ramdin helped West Indies reach 207/5. In response, India also started poorly when Rohit Sharma holed out to deep midwicket with Kharry Pierre taking the wicket.
Kohli, Rahul Show
Rahul started off with three boundaries off Jason Holder and he slammed two sixes off Sheldon Cottrell and Pierre. Rahul was the aggressor while Kohli started off slowly. When Rahul hit his second six, he went past 1000 runs in just his 29th Twenty20 International innings. West Indies did not help themselves by bowling too many extras and this allowed Kohli to release the pressure with a couple of boundaries. Kohli matched up to Rahul by blasting a six and a four off Jason Holder but things reached boiling point in the 13th over when Kesrick Williams ran across Kohli's path when the batsman was taking a single and this did not amuse the Indian captain.
Rahul hit a 101 meter six after reaching his seventh fifty but holed out to long off with Kieron Pollard taking the catch. Rishabh Pant got going with a six first ball but Kohli, fuelled by the anger in the previous over, tore into the West Indies bowling with two sixes and a four off Williams. One six resulted in Kohli sledging Williams with a notebook celebration, something which the bowler had experienced a couple of years ago in the Caribbean Premier League.
The 23-run over changed the whole course of the game and despite the wickets of Pant and Shreyas Iyer, Kohli sealed the game with a majestic six to register his highest individual score in the format and ensured India's dominance against the West Indies continued.