NEW DELHI: Dinesh Karthik kept his calm and composure as he remained unbeaten on 31 to guide India to a nervy five-wicket win over the West Indies despite early hiccups in the first T20I at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Sunday.
With this win, India lead the three-match series 1-0 and will now play their next match on Tuesday in Lucknow. Sent into bat, West Indies were restricted to 109 for eight and India chased down the target of 110 in 17.5 overs.
India lost both their openers - Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan - at the score of 16 inside three overs with paceman Oshane Thomas dismissing them.
Rishabh Pant and KL Rahul soon followed them back to the pavillion. But Manish Pandey and Karthik added crucial 38 runs for the fifth wicket to revive India's chase.
Earlier, spinner Kuldeep Yadav led the Indian bowlers' fine show with three wickets to restrict West Indies to 109 for eight. Electing to field on a dew-laden Eden, India responded well with the pacers giving them a fine start after Umesh Yadav dismissed Denesh Ramdin in the third over.
Debutant Khaleel Ahmed (1/16) and Jasprit Bumrah (1/27) ensured that the Windies run-rate dried up before the spin duo of Krunal Pandya (1/15) and Kuldeep made merry. Kuldeep (3/13) also completed 100 wickets in T20 cricket.
Tottering at 63 for seven inside 15 overs, the Windies looked to fold up inside 100 but Fabian Allen (27 from 20 balls) and Khary Pierre (15 not out from 13 balls) lifted the total past 100.
Debutant Krunal finished with excellent figures of 1/14 bowling his four overs at a stretch.
After being hit for a six by Kieron Pollard in his first over, the left-arm spinner not only dismissed the explosive batsman but conceded just four runs in his final three overs to finish on a high.
Down with a "gastric complaint", Bhuvneshwar Kumar pulled out in the last minute despite being named in the XII, but his absence was hardly felt with Yadav and debutant and Khaleel doing a fine job.
Left-arm pacer, Khaleel, was sensational giving away just 10 runs from his three overs, including a maiden over to Pollard.
It was in the same over the Windies batsmen made a mockery of running between the wickets and were sprinting against each other after confusion.
Opener Shai Hope, who had impressed with an unbeaten 123 and 95 in the ODI series, was the poor victim.
Introduced in the fifth over, Bumrah picked up another in-form batsman, Shimron Hetmyer (10), in his fourth over.
Runs dried up early as the visitors struggled at 31 for three, and the World T20 champions never looked at ease in their favourite format, taking 62 balls to complete 50 runs.