Kingston - Evin Lewis blazed his second hundred against
India to lead the West Indies to a rampaging nine-wicket victory in the one-off
T20 international at Sabina Park on Sunday.
Replying to the tourists' challenging total of 190 for six,
Lewis stole the spotlight from returning local hero Chris Gayle with a
blistering unbeaten 125 in taking the home side to 194 for one with nine balls
It was the first T20 international hundred scored by a West
Indian in the Caribbean, and puts the left-handed opener alongside Gayle and
New Zealand's Brendon McCullum as the only players to have scored more than one
century in the international format of the game.
Lewis' innings was highlighted by 12 towering sixes and six
fours off only 62 deliveries.
This memorable knock came 11 months after he compiled an
even 100 against the same opponents in Fort Lauderdale, where the West Indies
sneaked a one-run win a high-scoring encounter.
He completely dominated an 82-run opening stand with Gayle,
who fell to debutant Kuldeep Yadav for 18 in the ninth over.
Marlon Samuels then supported Lewis' explosive innings with
an assured unbeaten 36 off 29 deliveries as their unbroken second-wicket stand
of 112 saw the West Indies home in the 19th over.
Lewis fittingly ended the contest with another swing for six
off spinner Ravindra Jadeja to achieve the highest individual score in a T20
"It was at the back of my mind that I didn't get a
score in the one-dayers but I just believe in backing myself and playing my
style of game," said a delighted Lewis after receiving the
"This is a very good bowling team so any runs you get
against them is really appreciated."
As well as the 25-year-old from Trinidad and Tobago played
though, India did not help their cause by twice dropping him in the deep as he
approached the half-century mark, Mohammad Shami and Dinesh Karthik the
culprits in the field.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni also missed a stumping chance when
Gayle was on one while Samuels benefited from a couple of narrow escapes in
what was an untidy effort by India in the field.
Earlier, Indian captain Virat Kohli (39 off 22 balls) and
Shikhar Dhawan (23 off 12) led the charge after they were sent in to bat by
Carlos Brathwaite, the pair putting on 64 for the first wicket until both fell
in the sixth over of the innings to Kesrick Williams.
In just his second T20 international, Rishabh Pant struggled
to get going but it was the experienced Karthik who dominated an 86-run
third-wicket stand before he fell for 48, bowled behind his legs by Samuels.
His innings occupied just 29 deliveries and included three
sixes and five fours.
Despite his dismissal at 151 for three in the 16th over,
India still looked on course for a total in excess of 200.
However Jerome Taylor removed both Dhoni and Pant (38 off 35
balls) off successive deliveries, while Williams claimed his second wicket when
he accounted for Kedar Jadhav via a fine diving catch by Sunil Narine coming
off the backward-point boundary.
"We fell about 30 runs short with the bat and if you
don't grab your chances in the field you don't deserve to win," said an
obviously disappointed Kohli.
"Someone at the top of the order should have gotten at
least 80-90 to take us up to 220-plus. But all these games are good indicators
as to how some our guys respond to pressure situations."
Despite being outplayed 3-1 in the preceding one-day
international series, there is a sense of anticipation for the return of Gayle,
the big-hitting opening batsman whose last appearance for the regional side was
at the World T20 final against England in Kolkata 15 months ago.
India were forced to make a late change to their 11 as
all-rounder Hardik Pandya picked up an injury in the morning warm-ups with
Jadeja taking his place.