On a day when misfields ruled India’s defence of the 171-run target they set for West Indies to chase in the second T20I between the two sides at Thiruvananthapuram’s Greenfield International Stadium, captain Virat Kohli took a screamer to dismiss Shimron Hetmyer.
Hetmyer, who scored a masterful half-century in the first match which helped the West Indies post a total in excess of 200 runs, was looking like he was getting ready to tee off again when Kohli put the breaks on his innings. The 22-year-old was back to back sixes off Ravindra Jadeja in the 14th over to race to 23 off 13 balls.
He hit another that looked destined to sail over the ropes for a third consecutive six but Kohli, who was standing at long-on, sprinted to his right, threw himself in the air and caught the ball.
It was his effort after that made the catch all the more impressive. He fell to the ground and seemed to be sliding towards the boundary but Kohli controlled his movement in a way that he missed the ropes by centimetres.
“It was just one of those catches that stuck in the hand. It came out of one of the lights. I just committed to the ball and put both hands out and luckily it came in my hand.
“Last game I dropped a one-hander in the last game. Its about putting in the effort, sometimes they stick and sometimes they don’t,” Kohli said at the post-match presentation.
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The wicket put an end to a 39-run stand between Hetmyer (23) and Lendl Simmons after a 73-run opening partnership between the latter and Evin Lewis (40).
But despite the captain’s brilliant effort, the Windies still managed to find a way past the hosts in the match and eventually reached the target with 9 balls to spare.
Lendl Simmons remained unbeaten on 67 and bagged the Man of the Match award for his performance while Nicholas Pooran made 38 not out off just 18 balls.
Kohli’s catch was the only bright spot in the second innings as India dropped several catches, including two in the 5th over – by Washington Sundar and Rishabh Pant.
Kohli was disappointed by his side’s poor fielding as he held that responsible for their defeat.
“To be honest, WI bowled cutters and their change of pace did not help us. But if we field so poorly, no amount of runs will be enough.
“We were poor with the field in the last two games. We dropped two catches in one over. Imagine if they lost two overs in the same over. Everyone saw we need to be more brave in fielding,” Kohli said.