Suryakumar Yadav, Venkatesh Iyer and Bowlers star as India sweep West Indies 3-0 in T20Is.
Brief Scores: India 184/5 (Suryakumar 65, Venkatesh 35*, Chase 1/23, Holder 1/29) beat West Indies 167/9 (Pooran 61, Shepherd 29, Patel 3/22, Chahar 2/15) by 17 runs
After clinching the series already in the second game by 2-0, home side India looked to finish it by whitewashing the two-time world champions West Indies who wanted to make an impact by finishing this tour on a high. Few youngsters were handed some game time in the dead rubber.
The pitch at Eden Gardens
The 22-yards again looked a good one for batting but especially in this game, the dew was not expected to make a huge difference given the cloudy skies in the evening. But the captains still looked to chase after winning the toss.
West Indies opted to bowl, Avesh Khan earned his cap
West Indies captain Kieron Pollard, after winning the toss elected to chase; he made four changes, giving the players time in the middle. While India handed Avesh Khan a debut cap, skipper Rohit Sharma mentioned that Ruturaj Gaikwad and Ishan Kishan would open for India.
India grabbed momentum after shaky start; scored 43-1 after powerplay
A new young Indian opening partnership of Ruturaj Gaikwad and Ishan Kishan wasn’t able to provide their side a good start as the former, after a solid boundary, gifted Jason Holder an easy wicket; but Ishan Kishan suddenly changed his colour.
Since the wicket, Kishan who was yet to make an impact after a heavy IPL auction assumed his wild self hitting boundaries one after another as new batter Shreyas Iyer provided him good support. India reached 43 for the loss of Gaikwad after the powerplay with the spin challenge waiting.
West Indies fought back with three huge wickets; India 98/4 after 15 overs
It was a problem throughout the series for India to attack the opposition spinners and this time new KKR captain Shreyas Iyer, after looking in good touch, failed to carry on as India lost their second wicket. In the very next over, Roston Chase continued to impress with the ball as he sent back Kishan with a ball that kept a bit low and hit the furniture. India slumped to 68/3 at the halfway mark.
Suryakumar Yadav tried to pick up the run rate hitting a couple of sixes against Hayden Walsh, the leg-spinner. Just when it seemed like they would build a partnership, Rohit Sharma coming at number 4 wanted to charge down the ground but failed as West Indies grabbed the 4th wicket with the home side skipper back to the hut for 7 off 15 deliveries. India were reduced to 98/4 with just five overs left.
Suryakumar Yadav-Venkatesh Iyer upped the ante with swashbuckling boundaries; India fired up to 184/5
The tourists had struggled in the slog overs and both Venkatesh Iyer and Suryakumar Yadav took them on. Two overs - one against Dominic Drakes and one against Romario Shepherd went for 17 runs apiece and released the pressure on India as they fired up big time in the end overs.
Both the batters kept the fire burning. Suryakumar Yadav played one of the best innings of his life in the shortest format as he brought up his 4th T20I fifty in just 27 balls whereas Venkatesh Iyer delivered a fine hand with sweet timing as he raced away to 35* of just 19 balls. The West Indies bowlers had no answer to the slog over batting of India who scored 86 runs in the last 5 overs to help India reach 184/5.
Pooran-Powell rescued West Indies after early blow; WI 68/2 after powerplay
India didn’t need to wait long as Deepak Chahar dismissed Kyle Mayers in the very first over thanks to DRS. But Nicholas Pooran who was going through a purple patch in the series repaired the innings with some attacking shots.
But Chahar again halted the opposition innings with the wicket of Shai Hope. However, Chahar had to leave the field due to a hamstring injury in the middle of his second over. Since then, it was just the berserk show of Pooran and Rovman Powell who almost took their side over the line. West Indies charged up to 68/2 after the powerplay.
India regained control at regular intervals; WI 125/6 after 15 overs
India fought back strongly after the powerplay as Harshal Patel sent back the ominous looking Powell. Shardul Thakur grabbed an excellent catch as the ball, for a moment, seemed to touch the moon in the night sky. WI captain Pollard too, after looking uncomfortable against Bishnoi, chased a wide one and was caught at deep cover as the tourists lost another one; they were reduced to 87/4 at the halfway stage.
Jason Holder and Roston Chase too followed their captain without much contribution. The former succumbed to a soft dismissal whereas Roston Chase got undone by a slower ball. The only bright point for the visitors was watching Pooran still scoring runs with help from Romario Shepherd. WI reached 125/6 after 15 overs with another 59 required for a consolation victory.
Impressive death over bowling helped India whitewash West Indies
Pooran shined with another fifty: the third in a row in this series for the left-hander. The hard-hitting batter kept on going as India were again going behind the over rate. It was time for the home side to get rid of Pooran and finally, Shardul Thakur gave them the wicket as Ishan Kishan took a magnificent running catch.
The important wicket of Pooran just killed the momentum for West Indies from that point as Shepherd too failed to score the big shots and finally got out to Harshal Patel who was superb with the ball. With 23 runs required in the last over, Thakur kept it normal and delivered India the series win by a 3-0 margin.
Suryakumar Yadav was adjudged the player of the match and player of the series awards for his magnificent performance.
What to look forward to
India, just after a few days break, will host Sri Lanka in a three-match T20I series starting on February 24 in Lucknow whereas West Indies Test team will face England in a home series in March.
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