India beat West Indies by 17 runs to sweep T20 series
SUMMARY: India 184-5 from 20 overs (Suryakumar Yadav 65, Venkatesh Iyer 35*; Roston Chase 1-23) beat West Indies 167-9 from 20 overs (Nicholas Pooran 61, Romario Shepherd 29; Harshal Patel 3-22) by 17 runs
Suryakumar Yadav and Venkatesh Iyer were involved in a belligerent partnership for the fifth wicket and then the Indian bowlers overcame West Indies’ fiery start and Nicholas Pooran’s fighting half-century to register a 17-run victory in the third and final T20I at Eden Gardens on Sunday to make a clean sweep of the series.
Suryakumar (65 off 31) and Venkatesh (35* off 19) were involved in a 91-run stand off only 37 balls to help India post a sizeable 184-5. West Indies got off to a quick start in the chase, and despite wickets going down, they had Pooran at one end keeping the visitors in the hunt.
But Harshal Patel (3-22) and Shardul Thakur (2-33) delivered under pressure, restricting West Indies to 167 for 9 to leave them winless in the tour.
The Suryakumar-Venkatesh association
There were audacious scoop shots, lap shots were executed with ease, open-faced carves, long-hops put away over the fence and regulation slogs too.
In total, there were nine sixes and five fours scored between them as Suryakumar and Venkatesh changed the tone of India’s innings.
They got together in the 14th over with the scorecard reading 93-4 and at the end of the 15th over, India were only 98-4.
But the death overs was a batting spectacle with India scoring 86, the most they have managed in overs 16-20 in T20I cricket, surpassing the 80 they scored in the T20 World Cup game against England in 2007.
Suryakumar’s scoop off Dominic Drakes for a six and Venkatesh’s two fours through cover in the 16th over started the carnage.
Venkatesh nailed a pull off Romario Shepherd for a six while Suryakumar struck a powerful drive for a four in the 17th.
Jason Holder too was hit for a six with Venkatesh helping one over the fine-leg fence.
As many as 21 came in the penultimate over, including four leg-byes, with Suryakumar bringing up a 25-ball fifty off the second ball of the over and Venkatesh scoring two fours towards the end of it.
Shepherd was hit for three sixes in the final over by Suryakumar and the only solace for the bowler was a wicket of the last ball.
Spin works for West Indies, pace doesn’t
Despite the early dismissal of Ruturaj Gaikwad, who got a leading edge off Holder’s outswing, India made steady progress through a half-century stand between Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer. Kishan, having struggled in the earlier games, looked slightly better in this match while Shreyas came out with a positive mindset.
But both fell in successive overs, with Roston Chase and Hayden Walsh Jr. delivering the strikes. Chase, who has been one of West Indies’ key bowlers in this series, had economical returns, as did Walsh. Fabian Allen too gave away only five off the lone over he bowled, with the three spinners combing for an economy of 6.5.
Holder had a decent outing with the ball, conceding only 29 runs off his four overs despite going for 10 off his final over. But Drakes and Shepherd went for over 12 in their seven overs, which made plenty of difference to India’s eventual total.
India pull it back after expensive Powerplay
There was no Bhuvneshwar Kumar, no Yuzvendra Chahal while Deepak Chahar, who delivered two early strikes to send back the openers, left the field after bowling 1.5 overs holding on to his hamstring.
The in-form pair of Pooran and Rovman Powell made the most of this and at the receiving end was Avesh Khan (on debut), going for 20 off his first two overs, while Thakur conceded 18 off his first over.
At the end of the Powerplay, West Indies had raced away to 68-2, 25 more than what India had managed at the same stage.
The threatening third wicket stand, which lasted for 25 deliveries and yielded 47 runs, was ended by Harshal who struck in his first over. He put down a tough return catch but Powell fell off the next ball, getting a top edge and Thakur held on to a good catch.
Venkatesh struck in successive overs to send Kieron Pollard and Jason Holder back to the hut, ensuring that India did not miss Chahar’s presence. Harshal then came back to pick up the wicket of Chase, reducing West Indies to 100-6.
Pooran’s fight goes in vain
Avesh continued to leak runs when he was brought back into the attack, ending up with figures of 0 for 42 from his four overs. Pooran, who got a bottom edge off Ravi Bishnoi and was put down by the ‘keeper, made the most of the miss as he dealt in regular boundaries.
Shepherd was clearing the fence with regularity at the other end, as the seventh wicket pair brought down the equation to 37 off the last three overs. However, West Indies’ finishing abilities came a cropper again, which started with the dismissal of Pooran who got a top edge off Thakur while attempting a big one.
Harshal bagged the wicket of Shepherd in the 19th over and conceded only eight, leaving West Indies needing 23 off the final over. They ended up well short of that, with Thakur adding another wicket to his tally to finish with decent figures despite an expensive start, as India registered their ninth successive victory in the 20-over format. (cricbuzz)