Shubman Gill and Yashasvi Jaiswal gave a glittering manifestation of their talent as India humbled West Indies by nine wickets in the fourth T20 International in Lauderhill, United States of America on Saturday. India hunted down 179 with full three overs to spare, and the victory helped them to level the five-match series 2-2. The deciding fifth T20I will be played on Sunday. Coming into this match, India needed some runs from their openers and the two young men did precisely that.
Gill (77 off 47 balls) and Jaiswal (84 not out off 51 balls) slipped into overdrive from ball one and they seldom downshifted either. They made 165 runs together and it was India’s best stand for the opening wicket in this series so far.
There were apprehensions of pitch getting slowed down in the second half of the match, as it often happened in the past. But the centre square that was recently refurbished using the Mississippi soil stayed true for the whole course of the match.
Gill and Jaiswal used the wicket’s friendly nature to the hilt as 66 runs cascaded in the Power Play segment. The eight fours and three sixes they smoked during that phase, underscored Indian batters’ dominance.
Incidentally, all three sixes took birth off Gill’s punishing bat.
Gill was the first to stroll past the fifty-run mark, cutting Rovman Powell past the point fielder for a couple.
Jaiswal soon joined his partner on that landmark point, and it was achieved in an even more eye-popping fashion.
Powell tried to go wide of off-stump but the left-hander moved across and thumped the ball through wide square leg for a boundary, and celebrated his maiden T20I fifty with unmasked glee.
In the process of making 165, Gill and Jaiswal equalled the record for the second highest opening alliance for India in T20Is. They are now tied with Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul who made 165 against Sri Lanka at Indore in Sri Lanka in 2017.
Perhaps, it was the first chapter in passing of the baton to the younger crop as far as the shortest format is concerned.
Earlier, an outstanding effort by bowlers helped India pin down West Indies to a total that was underwhelming considering a pitch that offered true bounce and little turn.
West Indies’ decision to bat first was understandable as teams batting first often enjoyed a distinct advantage here, largely because of a pitch that tends to slow down as the match progresses.
However, the home batsmen, save Shimron Hetmyer (61) and Shai Hope (45), failed to capitalise on an excellent chance to put on board a bigger total.
In fact, the hosts did not manage even a single fifty stand in their innings.
The West Indies essay revolved around two partnerships – a 49 for the fifth wicket between Hope and Hetmyer and then a 47 for the eighth wicket between Hetmyer and Odean Smith.
On other times, Indian bowlers led by Arshdeep Singh (3/38) and Kuldeep Yadav (2/26) kept the Windies batting unit on a tight leash.
Hetmyer, who pounded a fifty, played some meaty shots in the end as West Indies scored at a fair clip in the last five overs.
But Gill and Jaiswal ensured that the total was not even sufficient to stretch India.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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