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'It Was The Turning Point...,' Jason Holder Points Out Game Changing Moment in Win Against India

image-lkvilzf5Jason Holder bowled brilliantly in the first T20I (Twitter)

West Indies edged past India by a thin margin of four runs in the opening match of the five-game T20I series on Thursday at the Brian Lara Stadium in Trinidad. 

The home team’s close win, marked by an impressive bowling performance, handed them a 1-0 lead in the series and added a bitter note to India's landmark 200th T20I match.

Holder's heroics help West Indies draw first blood in five-match series

The hero of the day was undoubtedly pacer Jason Holder, whose superb figures of 2/19 in four overs included the crucial wickets of Indian captain Hardik Pandya and Suryakumar Yadav.

The lanky all-rounder turned the game on its head in the 16th over by bowling a double wicket maiden where Hardik was cleaned up while Sanju Samson was runout. Holder was rightly awarded the ‘Player of the Match’ for his match-defining spell.

In the post-match presentation, Holder reflected on his performance, expressing that he remained committed to his game plan. He added that his aim was to put pressure on Indian batter, making it difficult for them to score easily.

“I stuck with my plans. I wanted to make them work hard for their runs, didn't want to give easy runs,” said Holder.

The 31-year-old highlighted the crucial turning point in the 16th over when India lost two wickets of Hardik and Samson, which swung the game in their favour as it was becoming a close contest.

Holder went on to praise the team's unity and collective effort. He also acknowledged that the favourable conditions on offer for the bowlers and the early wickets played a vita role in their win.

"It (16th over) was the turning point as the game was getting close. The guys stuck together, total team effort. The conditions played in the favour of the bowlers. We got early wickets, which is very important," concluded the seasoned all-rounder.

Coming to the game, defending a modest 149, early breakthroughs by Akeal Hosein and Obed McCoy unsettled the Indian batting line-up, but a partnership between Suryakumar Yadav and debutant Tilak Varma provided hope.

Post their dismissals, Hardik Pandya and Sanju Samson carried India's hopes, but Holder's exceptional 16th over shifted momentum in the West Indies' favour. 

Arshdeep Singh hit a couple of boundaries and kept the game alive, but Romario Shepherd's precise yorkers secured a thrilling four-run victory for the West Indies.

The second T20I will be played at the Providence Stadium, Guyana on Sunday, August 6.