Tilak Varma showcased his bowling skills when the team required a crucial breakthrough in the fifth T20I against the West Indies. Making his international debut, he took a wicket in his opening over, dismissing the in-form Nicholas Pooran.
During the 14th over, as skipper Hardik Pandya found it challenging against Pooran and King, Tilak Varma’s off-spin delivery led to Pooran attempting a reverse sweep, resulting in an edge caught by Pandya at slip. Pooran’s unsuccessful DRS review followed.
Here’s how the wicket was taken:
Whatever he touches turns to gold 👌🔥
— JioCinema (@JioCinema) August 13, 2023
The 20-year-old’s debut off-spin almost led to a wicket on his very first international delivery. The ball narrowly missed Pooran’s bat, and Sanju Samson swiftly removed the bails, but Pooran managed to get his leg back inside the crease just in the nick of time.
Tilak Varma’s cameo is fruitless as West Indies secure victory in the series decider
In the prior instance, Pandya elected to bat first. However, openers Yashasvi Jaiswal and Shubman Gill, who performed brilliantly in the fourth T20I, were dismissed with low scores. Suryakumar Yadav led the batting with 61 runs, and Varma contributed a swift 27 from 18 balls before being dismissed by Roston Chase.
After Kyle Mayers’ early exit in the second over, the hosts pressed on with Pooran and King’s 107-run partnership in 72 deliveries. Subsequently, Shai Hope and King combined for an unbroken 52-run stand, with King remaining unbeaten on 85. Romario Shepherd’s standout performance, taking 4 wickets for 31 runs in 4 overs, earned him the Player of the Match award.
This victory marked West Indies’ first T20I series triumph against India since 2017. Although they secured a 2-0 lead initially, they lost the following two matches. This achievement carries significant morale-boosting implications, particularly considering their inability to qualify for both the 50-over and 20-over World Cups.