West Indies 141 for 5 (King 68, Thomas 31*, Jadeja 1-16) beat India 138 (Pandya 31, Jadeja 27, McCoy 6-17) by five wickets
McCoy pushed India back in the death overs, where he got four of his six wickets after getting the first two inside the third over of the match. India crashed to 138 all out with two balls left in their innings after being 104 for 4 in the 14th over, with the scoring drying up considerably as the wickets fell; just 37 runs came off the last seven overs.
No kits in St Kitts
The match began around the time it had originally been scheduled to end, after a three-hour hold-up caused by the delayed arrival of the teams’ luggage and kits from Trinidad, the venue of the first T20I on Friday. Instead of 10am, the toss finally took place at 1pm.
McCoy masters the powerplay and the death overs
After all that waiting, the spectators got a significant bit of action off the very first ball of the match, as Rohit Sharma fended a lifter to short third off the shoulder of his bat; the extra bounce McCoy gained turned out to be a decisive factor as the innings progressed. He bowled a wicket-maiden to start the match, mixing back-of-a-length and fuller deliveries to keep new batter Shreyas Iyer quiet over the next five balls.
In the third over, McCoy struck again, inviting Suryakumar Yadav to drive at, and edge behind, a full-length delivery bowled form wide of the crease and angled across the right-hander.
India kept taking their chances through the powerplay despite the early wickets, with the short boundaries at Warner Park complementing their aggressive intent. They ended the first six overs 56 for 3, having hit five sixes already – but just the one four – and the rollercoaster early period ended in the seventh over, when Rishabh Pant fell for 24 off 12 balls. Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja went into rebuild mode thereafter, adding 43 off as many balls.
India’s scoring rate had mellowed by the time McCoy returned to bowl the 17th over – they were 112 for 5 – but they had Jadeja and an in-form Dinesh Karthik at the crease. Then McCoy effected a change of pace, luring Jadeja to loft a catch to long-on.
Just five came off that over, and with all of India’s momentum sucked dry, McCoy struck three more times in the 19th over. After getting Karthik caught at short fine leg, he spotted R Ashwin trying to shuffle across his stumps, and slipped the ball wider, forcing the batter to sky it to deep point while hitting against the breeze.
A little bit of luck also went McCoy’s way when a hesitant review by Nicholas Pooran revealed that Bhuvneshwar Kumar had tickled a tight, good-length delivery to the wicketkeeper, rounding off a dream spell.
King anchors nervy chase
West Indies’ pursuit of 139 began in confident manner, with King hitting six fours and a six in the first six overs to take the hosts to 46 for no loss. The loss of Kyle Mayers immediately after the powerplay didn’t seem to affect West Indies unduly either, as their No. 3 Pooran rushed off the blocks with a four and a six off successive balls from Avesh Khan in the eighth over. Pandya and R Ashwin, however, dragged India back in the game, conceding just 11 runs in the 9th, 10th and 11th overs, with Pooran holing out in that period.
Shimron Hetmyer fell not too long afterwards, and when Avesh dismissed King in the 16th over, West Indies’ equation was 32 off 27 balls with six wickets in hand. Arshdeep Singh and Pandya then made it 23 off 14 with ten boundary-less balls, before Thomas released the pressure by clubbing Hardik for six. Arshdeep swung the game one more time with an impeccable 19th over, conceding just six runs while getting Rovman Powell bowled, but Avesh’s last-over no-ball, and Thomas’ ice-cool hitting, took West Indies over the line.
Himanshu Agrawal is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo