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Dhoni wants more US matches despite washout

Dhoni Florida match

Fort Lauderdale: India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni wants more matches in the United States despite a chaotic Twenty20 clash against the West Indies on Sunday ending in a rain-hit no result.

Heavy rain forced the game at the Central Broward Regional Park to be abandoned with India well-placed on 15-0 off two overs in pursuit of a modest 144-run target.

The outcome completed a miserable day for the organisers who were forced to delay the start of the game by 40 minutes after technical problems caused a loss of television pictures.

West Indies, the world champions in the format, claimed the two-match series after winning the first game on Saturday by just one run.

Dhoni, whose side conceded the third-highest total of all time in the format of 245 in the opening clash, said he defintely sees a future for T20 cricket in America’s crowded sports market.

“This is one place where we can come back and play cricket — a triangular or four-nation series,” Dhoni said at Sunday’s presentation in comments carried by the cricinfo website.

“A tournament like that can give us more time to spend in the US. Yes, it will be a cramped schedule, but modern-day cricketers won’t mind it.

“This is one place where spectators will come. The timing suits us. So it’s a win-win situation. It’s a good venue to continue cricket.”

Carlos Brathwaite, leading the West Indies for the first time after the sacking of Darren Sammy, also looked forward to returning to Florida.

“For me as a young leader to lead the players is an exciting experience. We want to remain champions and entertain the West Indies crowd. Most definitely we would love to come back here again,” he said.

West Indies struggled to 143 all out in their innings with slow bowler Amit Mishra claiming a career best 3-24.

Saturday had witnessed 489 runs scored — the highest aggregate for T20 cricket.

But the Florida pitch — and eventually the weather — turned its back on the strokemakers on Sunday.

Saturday century-maker Evin Lewis, again standing in for the injured Chris Gayle, mustered just seven runs before he was caught at mid-off from the bowling of Mohammed Shami.

Fellow opener Johnson Charles looked set for another 50 but was dismissed seven runs short by recalled leg-break bowler Mishra, who enticed a chance to Ajinkya Rahane at long-on.

The bowlers continued to apply the brakes with Ravichandran Ashwin and Jasprit Bumrah getting rid of Lendl Simmons (19) and Marlon Samuels (5) respectively with the total on 76 by the 10th over.

Two overs and 22 runs later, the West Indies were six down with Ashwin having Kieron Pollard lbw for 13 and Bumrah clean bowling Andre Fletcher for three.

West Indies crawled past the 100-run mark in the 14th over; on Saturday, they were into three figures in the eighth.

Dwayne Bravo (three) tried to put his foot on the gas but his charge down the wicket was undone by a Mishra googly.

Andre Russell eked out 15 off 13 balls before he holed out off Bhuvneshwar Kumar with the score on 123.

Brathwaite (18) smashed a six and four off Mishra in the 18th over but the captain was bowled off the Indian’s last ball of his impressive spell.

Shami mopped up Samuel Badree for one with two balls of the innings left.

Agence France-Presse

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