Skipper Virat Kohli and Rishabh Pant cracked excellent half centuries as India thrashed West Indies by seven wickets in the third T20 at Guyana to complete a 3-0 series clean sweep.
Some terrific new-ball bowling from Deepak Chahar (3-4) earlier helped India restrict the hosts to 146-6 and they chased down the target with five balls to spare with Pant striking a unbeaten 65-run knock off just 42 deliveries.
Windies started woefully with the bat after Virat Kohli won the toss and elected to field first with Deepak Chahar wiping out the top-order in the powerplay.
The 26-year-old seamer reduced the hosts to 14-3 after getting the better of Sunil Narine, Evin Lewis and Shimron Hetmyer in a sensational opening spell.
A first T20I half-century from Kieron Pollard in more than seven years resurrected the West Indies innings with the all-rounder collecting 58 runs off just 45 deliveries before being castled by Navdeep Saini.
An explosive lower-order cameo from Rovman Powell (32) helped the hosts ultimately post 146-6 in their 20 overs.
In reply, India lost openers Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul early in the chase with the latter stumped off the bowling of Fabian Allen.
That was as good as it got for Windies with Kohli and Pant then stitching together a match-winning 106-run stand for the third wicket to set up another dominant win for the visitors.
Kohli brought up a 21st T20I fifty while Pant registered his half-century in just 37 balls as India made short work of West Indies’ total. Kohli ultimately perished for a 45-ball 59 but Pant remained unbeaten to help India complete the job.
Pant’s finishing skills
Rishabh Pant’s mode of dismissals in the first two T20s had left plenty to be desired. On Tuesday, the left-hander made amends for those dismissals with a mature display where he provided the perfect foil to his skipper.
With India in a precarious spot at 27-2 in the run chase, the pressure was very much on Pant to deliver at No4 after his previous failures. With Kohli for company at the other end, the southpaw was much more assured at the crease and he did not take any undue risk in the early half of his innings.
It was only when the duo had laid a solid foundation that Pant decided to up the ante and he found boundaries with ease.
The seamer was the chief architect with the ball in India’s win with his three early wickets setting West Indies back. His ability to generate some prodigious inswing to left-handers was marvelous to watch with both Shimron Hetmyer and Evin Lewis perishing to it.
His excellent figures of 3-4 from three overs ensured that Windies were never got going in the powerplay and their brief recovery later in the innings was too little, too late.
Pollard’s seven-year wait
The 58-run knock by Pollard on Tuesday was only the third T20I fifty registered by the Windies all-rounder in 61 appearances. It ended a long seven-year wait for Pollard who’s previous fifty in the format came all the way back in 2012 against New Zealand.
Kieron Pollard - 63* (29b), 5s, 5f vs NZ at Lauderhill on 30 Jun 2012— Mohandas Menon (@mohanstatsman) August 6, 2019
Since then: 31 inns, 514 runs, ave 20.56, S/r 113.97, HS 49* (twice). 24 sixes, 34 fours!
Today: 58 (45b), 6 sixes, 1 four#IndvWI #WIvInd
Know more about Sport360 Application