KL Rahul also became the third Indian to score a century in T20I cricket © Getty Images (File Photo)
KL Rahul also became the third Indian to score a century in T20I cricket © Getty Images (File Photo)

India’s top batsman, Kl Rahul scored his maiden century in T20I cricket, against reigning world T20 champions West Indies in the first of the two-match Twenty20 International (T20I) series, at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium in Lauderhill, Florida on Saturday. It was also the second fastest century in the world, as he also became the third Indian to score a century in T20I cricket. It was also the highest score by an Indian in T20I cricket. Nevertheless, India went on to lose the game in the last ball, when Dhoni was dismissed, with India requiring just a couple off the last ball, as Dwayne Bravo had the winning moment of the day. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: India vs West Indies 2016, 1st T20I at Florida

Earlier, India won the coin toss and elected top bowl first, against India, as they posted a challenging total of 245 for the loss of six wickets in 20 overs, courtesy of a brilliant century from Evin Lewis and Johnson Charles healthy 79, as Indian skipper MS Dhoni, who is coming off a couple of months long break said he was raring to go, as he had had enough time to prepare for the series, while the Windies skipper Carlos Brathwaite too is excited ahead of the series. Meanwhile, Chris Gayle and Jason Holder have been rested for the tie. FULL CRICKET UPDATES: India vs West Indies 2016, 1st T20I at Florida

Name Balls Match Venue
Richard Levi 45 South Africa v New Zealand Hamilton
Faf du Plessis 46 West Indies v South Africa Johannesburg
KL Rahul 46 India v West Indies Lauderhill
Aaron Finch 47 Australia v England Southampton
Chris Gayle 47 West Indies v England Mumbai

No more empty seats. No more one-sided contests. No more boredom. This time, there will be reggae music in the background. We will see cheerleaders often shake a leg to Dwayne John (DJ) Bravo’s Champion. And of course, Virender Sehwag will be at his (T)wittiest best during the match. All in all, like Ravi Shastri would say, “It promises to be a crackerjack of a contest.” India and West Indies, ranked No. 2 and 3 respectively in ICC T20I Rankings, will battle with each other in two-T20I series at Lauderhill, Florida. Yes, the gentlemen’s game will be played in the United States of America. IND, WI set to dazzle at Florida – Preview

What baffles us is the number of hours Dhoni and few others travelled to play 6 hours of cricket. However, a man, for whom patriotism is second to none, a 64-hour journey is not big a task. All the same, does difference in time zone not make it difficult for one to adjust? Let alone the weather, one has to change the sleeping pattern and, thus, becomes sleep-deprived and eventually exhausted. In fact, we do not credit the sportsmen (and our countrymen, to be honest) enough for the hard work they put in. Dhoni believes USA is a ‘special’ market for cricket

West Indies bat deep, so much so that every batsman in their team can use the long handle to the savaging effect. Early inroads will not put India on the front-foot. They will have to bowl out of their skins, punch well above their weight; use as many idioms you want, but that still will not fairly articulate West Indies’ batting prowess. To make matters worse for India, the opposition have Sunil Narine in their arsenal. His numbers deserve a mention here. From 34 T20Is, he has scalped 40 wickets at 17.75. Be that as it may, his economy reads 5.69 in a format tailor-made for batsmen.