Kuldeep Yadav. @ AFP
Kuldeep Yadav. @ AFP

Kuldeep Yadav’s three for 13 ensured West Indies were restricted to 109/8 in the first of the three-match Twenty20 International series against India at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Sunday.

After winning the Test series 2-0 and the one-day international series 3-1, India handed debuts to Krunal Pandya and left-arm pacer Khaleel Ahmed, while the visitors fielded three debutants in paceman Oshane Thomas, allrounder Khary Pierre and Fabian Allen.

India captain Rohit Sharma won the toss and elected to wisely field first with the dew factor playing coming into play in the second innings.

West Indies sprung a surprise introducing experienced campaigner Denesh Ramdin as Shai Hope’s opening partner. The plan failed miserably with Ramdin caught behind by Dinesh Karthik off Umesh Yadav. The West Indies cookie crumbled with Ramdin’s departure.

Hope (14), who was phenomenal in the ODI series, followed his team-mate back to the pavilion in the next after a bizarre run out that saw Hope and his Shimron Hetmyer running at the same end in a comincal run out in the fourth over.

Hope had flicked a Khaleel Ahmed delivery towards midwicket and called for a run. Hetmyer, at the non-striker’s end responded hesistantly responded, before making a dash back at the non-striker’s end. Hope had his eyes on the ball and failed to see Hetmyer running back at the non-striker’s end and lack of communication saw both batsmen in a mess.

From 22/2 in the fourth over, West Indies slipped to 49/5 in the 11th over. Hetmyer, who scored a century in the first ODI in Guwahati, failed to contribute after he was caught behind to give Jasprit Bumrah his first wicket. Krunal’s debut turned all the more sweeter with his maiden T20I wicket of the experienced campaigner Kieron Pollard, who added just 14.

Kuldeep then accounted for the next three West Indies wickets as the visitors slumped to 63/7 in the 15th over. The chinaman bowler also completed 100 wickets in T20 cricket.

Allen’s 20-ball 27, which included four boundaries and Keemo Paul’s nine bolstered the reigning T20 champions to 109/8, a target that just might keep them in the hunt for a win at a time when West Indies were looking to fold under 100. Allen was dismissed after he tried to muscle one away, but his shot landed straight down the throat of Umesh Yadav at mid-wicket. The wicket gave Ahmed his first T20I scalp.

Brief scores: West Indies 109/8 (Fabien Allen 27; Kuldeep Yadav 3/13) versus India