LAUDERHILL, Florida (CMC) — West Indies opener Evin Lewis says his knowledge of the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium pitch played a key role in his maiden Twenty20 International hundred against India here Saturday.
The 24-year-old lashed exactly 100 to help steer West Indies to a dramatic one-run victory in the opening game of the two-match series at the complex in Fort Lauderdale.
Only last month, Lewis played two games at the venue for St Kitts and Nevis Patriots during the Caribbean Premier League — scoring 79 in one of the outings — and said this familiarity had helped during his innings.
Opener Evin Lewis celebrates his maiden Twenty20 International century in the opening game of the two-match series against India on Saturday.
“T20 cricket is obviously a fast-paced game and I’ve been working hard each and every day on my T20 cricket so I’m finally seeing success and I’m thankful for it right now,” the left-hander said.
“Obviously I’ve played two games [before] on the wicket. Kudos today to the groundsman, he’s been doing an extremely good job. I just went out there and backed myself. If I got the balls in my scoring areas I put them away.”
The hundred came in only Lewis’s second game at this level, after making his debut last March against Afghanistan in the T20 World Cup in India.
He played with authority against the Indian attack, counting nine fours and nine sixes in an innings lasting 49 balls. He put on 126 for the first wicket with Johnson Charles who made 79.
“I can’t really explain how I feel right now but I’m still thankful. There are just two games I’ve played so I’m just looking forward to the rest of games,” he noted.
“Today was a good experience. CPL really didn’t have the crowd like they had today. They put in extra stands … and it was a great atmosphere.”
Despite his hundred, West Indies seemed set to lose the encounter after KL Rahul also carved out his maiden T20 International hundred in scoring an unbeaten 110.
But with India needing eight runs off the last over, all-rounder Dwayne Bravo produced a brilliant last over that cost just six runs, and Lewis was quick to praise his teammate.
“Eight runs from six balls, you know you always back the batting team to get that but Bravo put up his hand today and he came good for the team,” said Lewis.
“He’s always been a good bowler so he did it for the team today and we’re thankful for that.”