T20: India complete 3-0 whitewash
Beat West Indies by 17 runs in the final match of series
KOLKATA: Suryakumar Yadav (65) and Venkatesh Iyer (35*) helped India post 184/5 before a superb spell from Harshal Patel (3/22) ensured India won the last T20I against West Indies in Kolkata by 17 runs, completing a 3-0 series clean sweep.
With the series' fate already determined, both India and the West Indies made four changes for the last T20I at Eden Gardens. Avesh Khan made his debut for India, and Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shreyas Iyer, and Shardul Thakur all made the final XI. Hayden Walsh Jr., Dominic Drakes, Fabian Allen, and Shai Hope made the West Indies squad.
West Indies chose to bowl first and broke the new opening duo of Gaikwad and Ishan Kishan, with Jason Holder striking early to dismiss the former. Shreyas Iyer stepped in at No. 3 and made his intentions apparent right away. Both batters proceeded to play attacking cricket, ensuring that the early wicket did not jeopardize the innings.
West Indies sorely wanted to break the partnership, and Hayden Walsh stepped up, with Iyer holing out in the deep, attempting to score a maximum. The visitors struck again in the next over, extending Roston Chase's incredible series with the ball. Kishan's stumps were broken while attempting to pull against the spin.
Rohit Sharma's decision to bat at No.4 backfired as he battled to get going and was bowled for seven runs by Dominik Drakes. Suryakumar Yadav, thankfully for India, kept the scoreboard ticking with a few powerful shots and was joined by Venkatesh Iyer, who matched him blow for blow.
The two would then go on a carnage spree in the remaining few overs, playing some spectacular strokes. Suryakumar Yadav scored a blistering 31-ball 65 before being caught off the final delivery of the innings by Romario Shepherd. Iyer also made a significant impact, smashing an unbeaten 35 off 19 balls.
India scored 86 runs between the 16th and 20th overs, concluding their innings with 184/5.
Deepak Chahar struck in his opening over, giving India an ideal start in defending the total. In order to get the ball away from Kyle Mayers, he generated the tiniest of nicks, which was initially ruled not out by the umpire. However, Rohit Sharma reviewed successfully, and India made their first breakthrough.
Chahar struck again after Avesh Khan's costly over, getting another delivery to move to take the scalp of Shai Hope for 8. Chahar, however, pulled up with an injury before bowling the final delivery of the over, dealing a major blow to India.
In the Powerplay, Rovman Powell and Nicholas Pooran launched a counter-attack against the Indian bowlers, a strategy that was working pretty effectively. Powell, in particular, delivered some heavy blows, building on his form from the previous match.
The introduction of Harshal Patel into the attack did the damage as Powell was unable to connect, with Shardul Thakur taking a magnificent running catch to end his 25-ball knock.
Kieron Pollard, the captain, also did not spend long at the crease, succumbing to Venkatesh Iyer after a subdued 7-ball 5. The onus was now on Pooran to get West Indies closer to the target. The equation was 98 needed from the last ten overs.
A moment's delay for drinks was detrimental to the Windies cause, as Jason Holder attempted a massive heave against Venkatesh Iyer but only found Shreyas Iyer in the deep.
Harshal Patel continued his outstanding performance, dismissing Roston Chase for 12 with a deceptive slower delivery. India was now comfortably in command, with Pooran representing the visitors' last hope.
Romario Shepherd, who began swinging from the start, would lend him some assistance. Pooran set himself up nicely in the final four overs, bringing up his third fifty in a row.
Thakur, on the other hand, struck at the perfect time for India in the 18th over, when a well-executed slower delivery induced a mistime from Pooran, who was out after a brilliant knock of 61. West Indies needed 31 runs off the final two overs, and Shepherd seemed to be in devastating form.
Patel then delivered an outstanding penultimate over, dismissing Shepherd for 29 and leaving Shardul to defend 23 in the final one. It was a fantastic spell, with figures of 3/22 off 4 overs.
And he did just that, as India won by 17 runs to seal a 3-0 series whitewash, with the West Indies finishing their tour without a single victory.
Edited - SportsAction / Inputs - Agency