FORT LAUDERDALE (News Desk) – West Indies defeated India by one run in a record run-laden Twenty20 clash on Saturday after piling up the third highest ever total in the game’s shortest format.
Set 246 to win, India needed two runs off the last ball for a famous victory in the Florida sunshine.
But skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni could only scoop a Dwayne Bravo delivery into the hands of Marlon Samuels at short third man to leave India agonisingly on 244-4. Lokesh Rahul was unbeaten for India on 110 in just his fourth T20 match, hitting 12 fours and five sixes. He shared crucial 107-run partnership with Dhoni.
West Indies’ total of 245-6 was just short of Australia’s 248 against England in Southampton in 2013 while Sri Lanka’s 260 against Kenya at Johannesburg in 2007 remains the highest ever international T20 total.
Evin Lewis smashed an impressive 100 and Johnson Charles hit 79 as the West Indies laid the foundations to mark Carlos Brathwaite’s first game as skipper with a victory.
The second match of two back-to-back T20s at the rarely-visited Central Broward Regional Park venue takes place on Sunday.
The 24-year-old Lewis, whose only other appearance in the game’s shortest form had ended with a duck in the shock defeat to Afghanistan at the World Twenty20 this year, feasted on perfect batting conditions at the Florida venue.
Lewis, standing in for the injured Chris Gayle, reached exactly 100 off 48 balls with five fours and nine sixes and when he was out off the fifth ball of the 16th over, world champions West Indies were 205-3. It was the fifth fastest T20 international century.
The highlight of Lewis’s innings was hitting five sixes off a Stuart Binny over, all of which sailed over the boundary on the back of a stiff Florida breeze.
With fellow opener, Lewis put on 126 for the first wicket. The duo steered West Indies past the 100 mark by the eighth over.