Pollard impresses but WI lose again to India
West Indies extended their miserable run of form when they suffered their second straight T20 International whitewash to India and their third in four series with a seven-wicket defeat in the final contest of the three-match series yesterday.
Defending a modest 147 at the Guyana National Stadium, the Caribbean side was punished by half-centuries from dashing wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant (65 not out) and captain Virat Kohli (59) as India reached their target with five balls to spare.
West Indies felt they were in with a chance when opener Shikhar Dhawan (3) and KL Rahul (20) fell cheaply to leave the visitors tentatively placed at 27 for two in the fifth over.
But Pant and Kohli took command of the run chase in a superb 106-run, third-wicket stand off 77 deliveries to erase any doubt over the result and expand on the double success last weekend in Florida.
Veteran Kieron Pollard had earlier notched his first T20 half-century in seven years when he top-scored with 58 off 45 balls as West Indies marched to 146 for six off their 20 overs after being put in.
Rovman Powell struck an unbeaten 32 off 20 balls, but no other West Indies batsman managed to pass 20 in yet another disappointing showing.
Seamer Deepak Chahar, in only his second T20 International, blew away the West Indies top order with three wickets for four runs from a three-over spell to earn Man-of-the-Match honours.
Another 26-year-old seamer, Navdeep Saini, who made his international debut in the opening match of the series last Saturday, supported well with two for 34 from his full complement.
With Chahar exploiting a fresh pitch courtesy of early morning showers which delayed the start by 70 minutes, West Indies found themselves wobbling on 14 for three in the fourth over.
Sunil Narine, used at the top for the second straight game, tugged Chahar to Saini at mid on in the second over to fall for two with four runs on the board.
And in his next over, Chahar struck twice, first hitting Evin Lewis plumb in front for 10 and then also trapping Shimron Hetmyer (1) on his crease.
Pollard, batting at number four, came to the Windies’ rescue as he combined with Nicholas Pooran (17) in a valuable 66-run, fourth-wicket stand.
The 32-year-old struck a four and a half-dozen sixes – mostly through the leg-side – while Pooran hit a four and a six in his 24-ball stay without really finding his rhythm.
Not for the first time, West Indies struck early, fast bowler Oshane Thomas (2-29) having left-handed Shikhar Dhawan caught at square leg for three in the second over and left-arm spinner Fabian Allen getting Rahul to edge one behind in the fifth over.
But Pant and Kohli snatched the game away in a partnership that was at first measured but then found tempo late on as both players raised their intensity.
E Lewis lbw b D Chahar 1
S Narine c Saini b D Chahar 2
S Hetmyer lbw b D Chahar 1
K Pollard b Saini 58
+N Pooran c wkp Pant b Saini 17
R Powell not out 32
*C Brathwaite c Sundar b R Chahar 10
F Allen not out 8
Extras (lb4, w4) 8
TOTAL (6 wkts, 20 overs) 146
Fall of wickets: 1-4 (Narine), 2-13 (Lewis), 3-14 (Hetmyer), 4-80 (Pooran), 5-105 (Pollard), 6-119 (Brathwaite)
Did not bat: K Paul, S Cottrell, O Thomas
Bowling: Kumar 3-0-19-0, D Chahar 3-1-4-3, Saini 4-0-34-2, R Chahar 3-0-27-1, Sundar 3-0-23-0 (w3), K Pandya 4-0-35-0 (w1).
KL Rahul c wkp Pooran b Allen 20
S Dhawan c Cottrell b Thomas 3
*V Kohli c Lewis b Thomas 59
+R Pant not out 65
M Pandey not out 2
Extras (w1) 1
TOTAL (3 wkts, 19.1 overs) 150
Fall of wickets: 1-10 (Dhawan), 2-27 (Rahul), 3-133 (Kohli)
Did not bat: K Pandya, D Chahar, W Sundar, B Kumar, R Chahar, N Saini.
Result: India won by seven wickets.
Series: India win three-match series 3-0.
Umpires: Nigel Duguid, Leslie Reifer; TV – Gregory Brathwaite.