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Match reports

India v West Indies

Wisden's review of India v West Indies

Geoff Lemon
At Mumbai (Wankhede), March 31, 2016 (floodlit). West Indies won by seven wickets. Toss: West Indies.
Sometimes a classic performance can be better remembered in a losing cause. Sometimes the finest margins decide contests. Both proved the case here, as Kohli played the perfect Twenty20 innings, then watched in disbelief as slivers of Indian boots helped West Indies chase their target. Simmons was twice reprieved by no-balls - by Ashwin, on 18, and Pandya, on 50 - and again, on 68, when Jadeja brushed the midwicket boundary rope, turning a catch into a six. Dew would hamper the side bowling second, but Kohli's second-innings average of 91 must also have helped persuade Sammy to ask India to bat. Kohli responded with 89 not out from 47 balls, despite hitting only one six and less than half his total in fours. His running was as exquisite as his strokeplay, creating scores where there should have been none. Including those he ran on behalf of Rahane - whose 35-ball 40 on a plum pitch felt unnecessarily cautious - and Dhoni, he interspersed orthodox pulls and drives with 15 twos and 36 singles; his 16th fifty in Twenty20 internationals moved him one clear at the top of the list, above Gayle and Brendon McCullum. West Indies were less beautiful but more brutal. At 19 for two after three overs, with Gayle bowled by a low full toss from Bumrah, it should have been settled. But Simmons, who had arrived in Mumbai only two days earlier after being recalled because Andre Fletcher had injured his hamstring against Afghanistan, shrugged off every near miss to keep swinging all the way to a career-best 82 not out. Charles bludgeoned 52 before falling to Kohli, then Russell launched four sixes, the destinations of which included the stadium's third tier and the press-box window. As he and Simmons, a Mumbai Indians regular in the IPL, added 80 in 6.3 overs, the Wankhede fell silent. West Indies were in the final.
Man of the Match: L. M. P. Simmons.