A classy fifty from Suryakumar Yadav (65 off 31) and an aggressive knock by Venkatesh Iyer (35 off 19) followed by a clinical bowling effort helped India beat West Indies by 17 runs in the 3rd T20I and complete a 3-0 clean sweep of the three match series, at the Eden Gardens, here on Sunday.
With this, India won all the six white ball matches against the touring West Indies side, who had an disappointing outing in major parts of the series.
Put into bat, India lost wickets at regular intervals and were in trouble at 93-4 but a classy fifty from Suryakumar Yadav (65 off 31) and an aggressive knock by Venkatesh Iyer (35 off 19) came to their rescue.
The pair stitched a big partnership of 91 runs for the fifth wicket and propelled India to 184-5 in 20 overs. Apart from Suryakumar and Venkatesh, Ishan Kishan also played a vital knock of 34 off 31 balls but once again he was not at his fluent best.
Chasing a challenging total, West Indies lost Kyle Mayers in the very first over as Deepak Chahar found the outside edge. Avesh Khan who came to bowl the next over had a poor start in his first over in international cricket, concededing 11 runs as Nicholas Pooran hit him for two fours.
Hope also got into the act with a couple of boundaries off Chahar but the bowler hit back with his swing, getting the batter to outside edge to the ‘keeper with his outswing. Hope departed for eight, leaving West Indies at 26/2 in the third over. However, India suffered a setback as Chahar walked off the field due to an injury in the same over.
Despite losing two quick wickets, Rovman Powell and Pooran began dealing in boundaries and took the visitors to 68/2 at the end of the powerplay. But Harshal in his very first over of the spell dismissed Powell (25) to give India a much needed wicket, ending a 47-run stand that came off only 25 deliveries.
Thereafter Venkatesh Iyer picked up two wickets of Kieron Pollard and Jason Holder in quick succession. But Pooran kept his side alive by hitting another fifty of the series.
Romario Shepherd joined the onslaught to give Pooran good company, who eventually fell for 61 by Thakur. The visitors needed 37 from the final three overs but Pooran fell for 61 in the 18th over bowled by Thakur. Romario Shepherd (29 off 21) tried hard but it was not enough as West Indies were restricted to 167-9 in 20 overs, losing the match by 17 runs.
Harshal Patel (3/22), Deepak Chahar (2/15), Venkatesh Iyer (2/23), Shardul Thakur (2/33) were the wicket-takers for India.
Earlier, India sent a new pair of Ishan Kishan and Ruturaj Gaikwad to open the innings. However, it didn’t yield a positive result as Jason Holder dismissed Ruturaj Gaikwad for four, giving West Indies the first breakthrough in the 3rd over of the innings.
Shreyas Iyer, who was playing his first match of the series then joined Ishan at the crease. The duo hit a flurry of boundaries to tilt the momentum back in India’s favour, taking hosts to 43/1 after six overs.
Hayden Walsh then put down a tough return catch to give Kishan a reprieve in the seventh over while Iyer whipped a Chase delivery to the cow-corner region for a four in the eighth over, bringing the 50-run stand for the second wicket between him and Ishan off 32 balls.
Just when it looked like the Indian batters would up the ante, Walsh struck in his second over to pick up the wicket of Iyer (25 off 16), who tried to go over the top but wasn’t in full control of the shot and ended up slicing it to Holder at long-off. Soon, Roston Chase got rid of Kishan, who attempted the pull shot off but the ball came on straight and the batter was eventually bowled. Kishan departed for 34 off 31, leaving India at 66/3 after 9.3 overs.
After losing two quick wickets, India were in a spot of bother but the pair of Suryakumar Yadav and skipper Rohit Sharma had a much-needed partnership between them. Though Suryakumar, who looked in fine touch was the major contributor between the two as Rohit was far from his best.
It was Dominic Drakes, who gave the visitors their next wicket, dismissing Indian captain Rohit Sharma for 7 off 15 in the 14th over. From there on, Suryakumar and Venkatesh Iyer mixed caution with aggression and kept the scoreboard ticking with boundaries at regular intervals.
Both Suryakumar and Venkatesh played some beautiful shots and took 17 runs each in 16th and 17th overs respectively. Holder gave away only four off the first four balls of the 18th over but Venkatesh hit one six at the fine-leg fence off the fifth ball. Thereafter, Iyer and Suryakumar dealt in boundaries in the last two overs. During the process, Surya hit his fifty in the first ball of the last over and smashed two more sixes before getting out in the last delivery.
Overall, India got the much-needed late impetus after a top-order failure as both Venkatesh and Suryakumar scored 86 runs in the last five overs, taking India to 184-5 in 20 overs.
Brief scores: India 184-5 in 20 overs (Suryakumar Yadav 65, Venkatesh Iyer 35; Roston Chase 1/23) beat West Indies 167-9 in 20 Overs (Nicholas Pooran 61; Harshal Patel 3/22, Deepak Chahar 2/15 ) by 17 runs