The illegal recourse
It seems unless the ball wises up and takes a restraining order against Virat Kohli, there is no stopping him from scoring runs. So West Indies conspired to go off the straight and narrow, and their plan was quite cunning. Step one, lull Kohli's defences. A free hit tends to do that. He has defended one of those in the past. Step two, beat him. No big deal for a Dwayne Bravo slower ball, especially the way he makes them dip. Then came the chaos.
Kohli went for a suicidal bye, when the wicketkeeper had collected it cleanly. He was more than halfway down the pitch, perhaps not aware where the ball had gone, or that he can still be run-out off a free hit. Denesh Ramdin had a clean view of all three stumps, but his underarm throw missed the off stump by a whisker. Meanwhile, Kohli was only now turning around, recognising the danger he was in, as Bravo ran in, picked the ball up and aimed at the stumps again. This time it skirted, just skirted down leg, and Kohli was still nowhere in the frame.
The secret weapon
"It wasn't a typical Wankhede wicket," is what Ajinkya Rahane, who has played cricket here since his under-14 days, said. But those short boundaries are not quite so temperamental. They don't change. Batsmen come here looking to clear them, but India took them on in a very different way. Good balls were dabbed into the gaps in the infield, and before the fielder in the deep could even think about run-outs, the second run was comfortably completed. Midwicket was picked on. They used soft hands, but ensured the wrists led the ball into the real estate past long-on's right. Ten of India's twos came there, and it was both outstandingly simple and supremely skillful. Overall, there were 19 of them - the record in T20Is is 21 - and Kohli got more than half of them - 10.
The how do you do
"Please, don't fire, Virat," Chris Gayle had said when he met the media ahead of the match. Kohli didn't listen and West Indies were left chasing 193. Not quite the situation they would have preferred to be in when they won the toss. But they still had Gayle, and he had hit an effortless hundred the last time they were in Mumbai. Three dots, a four, and a single to retain strike after the first over. So now, Jasprit Bumrah had to deal with perhaps the greatest batsman in T20 cricket. And he dealt with him in signature style. The yorker came out as a low full toss, but it was laced with inswing, and it dipped on Gayle at the last second. He was looking for a thump down the ground. He missed. Bumrah was looking for the stumps. He hit. It was the first ball Bumrah had bowled to Gayle in international cricket.
The golden arm
When it's your day, it's your day and nothing established that fact as much as Kohli picking up a wicket with his first ball, which for good measure, was so short, it should have been on a blooper reel. Instead, it would be a wicket, of a well-set Johnson Charles, who was pulverising proper bowlers. The batsman had jumped back in his crease and aimed a baseball-type shot down the ground, except he had mistimed it somehow, and Rohit Sharma, running in from long-off, completed the simplest catch.
The golden boy
Eleven days before West Indies' first match of the World T20, Lendl Simmons was ruled out of the tournament with a back injury. But two days ago, with Andre Fletcher stepping away with a tweaked hamstring, a fully-healed Simmons was flown down to India and tonight he was the difference. Except he shouldn't have been. He should have been caught in the seventh over when R Ashwin had him dabbing to short third man. Bumrah, the fielder, was celebrating even more exuberantly than he did after dismissing Gayle. But all of that had to be put on hold when the umpires checked and found that it was a no-ball. A feeling of destiny was reinforced when Hardik Pandya committed the same error in the 15th over and Simmons got away with slapping a full toss straight to cover. India had another chance at Simmons, but third time was not the charm either. Ravindra Jadeja was tracking a big hit from deep midwicket, and although he did very well to catch the ball and relay it across to Virat Kohli, he had trod on the rope.