THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, India – Lendl Simmons cracked 67 to anchor West Indies to an eight-wicket win over India in the second Twenty20 International on Sunday.
Simmons survived a dropped catch on six to put on 73 for the first wicket with Evin Lewis and 61 – unbroken – for the third wicket with compatriot Nicholas Pooran, as the Caribbbean side chased down 171 in 18.3 overs to level the three-match series 1-1 at the Greenfield International Stadium.
The result broke the visitors’ seven-game losing streak against the Indians and turned the final match of the series this coming Wednesday at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai into the series decider.
Simmons, 34, playing only his third T20I in 2-½ years, emerged from a slow start to hit four fours and four sixes in his 45-ball innings that carried West Indies to victory.
Lewis extended his good form with 40 from 35 balls and Pooran made an instant impact his first match back from suspension, clobbering 38 from 18 balls.
The result was still in limbo at 73 for one at the halfway stage with West Indies facing a stiff asking rate of nearly 10 runs an over, but Simmons galvanised the run chase at the back end, as the Caribbean side got over the finish line.
Pacer Kesrick Williams and leg-spinner Hayden Walsh Jr claimed two wickets each to play a key part in restricting India to 170 for seven off 20 overs.
The West Indies bowlers used clever changes of pace to work their way through the Indian top-order batting.
Shivam Dube revived the hosts with 54 from 30 balls – his maiden T20I half-century – smashing three fours and four sixes, including three in an over from West Indies captain Kieron Pollard.
The visitors restricted their hosts to 77 from the last 10 overs, but Rishabh Pant fought his way to 33 not out to give the innings late momentum.
India captain Virat Kohli made 19 and edged past his teammate Rohit Sharma by one run as the world’s most prolific T20I scorer with 2,563 runs.