Virat Kohli’s India started off life after World Cup on a positive note by defeating West Indies by 4 wickets in a low-scoring 1st T20I at the Central Broward Stadium in Florida on Saturday. Navdeep Saini started on his international debut, returning with figures of 3 for 17.
On a pitch where all batsmen struggled to play their shots, the West Indies were restricted to 95 for nine batting first.
India’s line-up too found the conditions equally challenging but the depth of their batting saw them through to 98 for six with 16 deliveries to spare.
Having already enjoyed success with the Indian ‘A’ team currently on tour of the Caribbean, Saini made an immediate impact wearing his country’s colours at the highest level in claiming three for 17 off his four overs, including top-scorer Kieron Pollard who fell in the final over of the innings for 49.
He achieved the rarity of a maiden in that final over but it was his earlier double-strike which gave the 26-year-old fast bowler the sort of dream start he would have wished for after captain Virat Kohli chose to bowl first on winning the toss.
India’s victory on Saturday made them only the second side after Pakistan to register 50 or more T20I wins away from home. This was India’s 50th away T20I win, a feat only held by neighbours Pakistan previously.
This was India’s 71st T20I victory overall after playing 116 matches. With a very impressive win percentage of 63.27, they are No. 2 in the list of most T20I wins. Here also the record stands with Pakistan, who have won 90 of their 143 T20Is.