Tarouba, Trinidad and Tobago: West Indies stunned India by four runs to capture the opening Twenty20 International on Thursday as the tourists flopped in pursuit of a modest 150-run target.
Well-placed at 77-3 in the 11th over thanks to debutant Tilak Varma’s top score of 39 and 21 from Suryakumar Yadav, India then lost six wickets for just 68 runs.
Shimron Hetmyer, playing international cricket for the first time in 12 months, starred in the field for the West Indies taking three catches and effecting the run-out of Arshdeep Singh in the final over to bring the low-scoring clash to a conclusion.
The 20-year-old Varma, who helped light up the IPL with 343 runs for the Mumbai Indians this season, hit three sixes in his 22-ball innings.
Two of his sixes came in the first three balls he faced from Alzarri Joseph.
His innings ended on the last ball of the 11th over when he was caught at fine leg by Hetmyer off pace bowler Romario Shepherd with the total at 77.
Ten runs earlier, Suryakumar had been the third wicket to fall, brilliantly caught by Hetmyer who dived to his left at short extra cover off the bowling of Jason Holder.
Skipper Hardik Pandya (19), Axar Patel (13) and Singh (12) all made useful contributions but struggled to force the pace on a slow pitch at the Brian Lara Stadium.
Holder was particularly impressive for the West Indies with figures of 2-19 from his four overs and was named man of the match.
Earlier captain Rovman Powell top-scored with 48 as the West Indies made 149-6 after winning the toss and opting to bat.
Powell hit three fours and three sixes in his 32-ball knock after Nicholas Pooran fell for 41, but the West Indies were restricted to only 21 off the final three overs.
Pooran was coming off a match-winning 137 not out in last week’s Major League Cricket final in the US for Mumbai Indians-backed MI New York.
Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal trapped Kyle Mayers leg-before for one and removed fellow opener Brandon King (28) the same way two balls later.
Johnson Charles added just three before slicing a catch to Varma in the deep off left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav.
Pooran and Powell gave the innings some momentum before both holed out either side of Hetmyer’s dismissal for 10.
The next two games will be played in Bridgetown on Sunday and Tuesday before the series concludes at Lauderhill in Florida on August 12 and 13.
India won the two-Test series 1-0 before beating the West Indies 2-1 in the ODIs.