AgencyHyderabad: Skipper Virat Kohli stamped his authority with yet another sublime innings of career-best 94 not out as India pulled off their highest successful run chase in a T20 International to beat West Indies by six wickets in the first match here on Friday. KL Rahul also struck an impressive 62 off just 40 balls to help India chase down the target of 208 with eight balls to spare. The earlier highest successful run chase for India in a T20I was the 207 against Sri Lanka in Mohali in 2009. India, thus, took a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. The second T20 International will be played in Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday. Opening the innings in the absence of injured Shikhar Dhawan, Rahul played fluently to score his seventh T20I fifty, during which he hit five boundaries and four sixes to make a case for himself to be in India’s squad for next year’s T20 World Cup. Kohli, who played the second fiddle till Rahul was around, showed his class and opened up his arms to notch up his fifty of 35 balls and guided India to a rather comprehensive win as the home side reached 208 for 4 in 18.4 overs. Rahul and Kohli shared 100 runs for the second wicket to lay the platform for the victory. Kohli, in the end, remained unbeaten six runs shy of century. He hit six fours and as many sixes from the 50 balls he faced. Rishabh Pant made 18 off nine deliveries but again threw away his wicket to only make matters difficult for himself. India, however, made a quiet start to their chase as the first over produced just four runs. But Rahul struck three boundaries off Jason Holder to give impetus to India’s chase. India were dealt a severe blow in the fourth over when Rohit Sharma (8) picked out Shimron Hetmyer at deep midwicket off the bowling of Khary Pierre with India’s scoreboard reading 30 in 3.2 overs.
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