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India lose in final ball as Rahul’s heroics go in vain

Dwayne Bravo held his nerve to concede just 6 runs of the last over to take West Indies to a 1 run win against India in the first Paytm T20 International at Central Broward Regional Park, Florida.

Chasing a target of 246 , India required 8 runs of the last over and 2 run of the final ball as Dhoni only managed to scoop a comfortable catch to the short third man.

Rahul(110) was at the non strikers end.

The Indian team led by a spirited performance by KL Rahul almost completed a record chase of the 246 target set by the West Indies.

Dhoni well known for his finishing skills failed to stand up to his reputation.

India looked comfortable to win the match throughout the innings until the last over when Bravo’s heroics pulled it back for the West Indies.

Chasing a mammoth total of 246, India got of to a positive start with Rohit Sharma scoring three boundaries in Badree’s second over after Ajinkya Rahane was promoted to open the innings.

India lost wickets in quick succession as Ajinkya Rahane fell to a brilliant catch from Bravo at third man in Andre Russels second over.

Kohli followed Rahane after edging a rising Bravo ball down the leg side to the keeper.

KL Rahul joined Rohit Sharma at the crease and got off to a good start by scoring 16 runs of a Sunil Narine over which was also the last over of the powerplay.

Rohit Sharma continued the onslaught on Narine as he took him for consecutive sixes in the 8th over.

India looked well in contention at 114/2 in the 10th over with Rohit Sharma scoring his half century in just 22 deliveries and Rahul at 39 at the other end.

With 115 required of 54 balls, India kept the pace going as the “classy” Rahul completed his half century in 26 balls.

At a crucial juncture in the game Rohit Sharma was caught at deep mid-wicket of a Pollard delivery after scoring 62 runs in the 12th over, which saw the Indian skipper Dhoni come into the crease.

Rahul kept the score board moving with a classy six over the covers off followed by an unorthodox reverse sweep for a boundary towards the third man.

A niggle in his toe after a Brathwaite delivery stuck him did not stop the in form Rahul as he hit the very next ball for a boundary through the covers.

Dhoni gave good company as he took Russel for one of the biggest sixes of the match. With just 33 more runs to win of 3 overs, India looked clear favourites with wicket in hand.

Earlier in the day West Indies got off to a aggressive start after being put into bat by Indian skipper MS Dhoni on a flat track, as Charles hammered Sami for 17 runs in the first over including a six over long on, which set up the tone for the attack.

Spinners too struggled to put a hold on the attack as Jadeja was taken for 20 runs in his second over.

Charles brought up his 50 in just 20 balls with a six of Ashwin. Shami removed Charles for 78 but the attack did not stop as Lewis followed it up with a 25 ball 50.

100 came up in just the 8th over with just the loss of one wicket for the Carribeans.

Stuart Binny was taken to the cleaners in his first over for 32 runs which included 5 consecutive sixes by Lewis.

11th over by Ashwin was the best one in the innings for India with just 4 runs coming of it.

Lewis brought up his first International T20 century in the 16th over in just 48 balls which included 9 sixes at a strike rate of 208.

Jadeja removed Russel in the 16th over with a delivery that just held its line to trap him in front of the wickets. Lewis survived a runout scare but was caught by Ashwin off Jadeja the very next ball in a good spell of play for India.

The promising new West Indian skipper Brathwaite joined Pollard at the crease but could’nt sustain the momentum set by their openers as they finished the innings at 245/6 with 3 wickets from Bumrah’s final over.

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