Iyer, spinners star in India’s 4-1 finish
Shreyas Iyer’s half-century and some superlative bowling from the spinners gave India a big 88-run win over the West Indies in the fifth and final T20I in Florida. The visitors took the series with a thumping 4-1 margin, getting themselves in some good form leading up to the T20 World Cup scheduled for later this year.
What was so special about India’s win?
Chasing a 189-run target, WI were bowled out for only 100 and it was the first instance of spinners picking all 10 wickets in a T20I. It was also India’s biggest T20I win over WI in terms of runs.
No Rohit today but Iyer steps up as opener
Ishan Kishan had another indifferent day with the bat but Iyer, playing as an opener, ensured that India didn’t miss Rohit Sharma too much (Rohit, India’s regular captain, was rested for tonight’s game). Iyer went on to score 64 off 40 balls and found good support from Deepak Hooda, with the duo adding 76 for the second wicket. Hooda’s hits against Keemo Paul in the sixth over ensured that India finished with an impressive 53/1 in the PowerPlay while Iyer’s 30-ball half-century kept them going, leaving them strong at 95/1 at the halfway mark.
Hardik mends India’s average finish…
Only 47 runs came of the last five overs and it was down to India losing regular wickets in the latter half of the innings. On the other side of the drinks break, Hooda perished trying to clear the ropes against Hayden Walsh just when he was looking to pick up his scoring rate. Iyer fell in the next over, offering a sharp return chance to Jason Holder as India stuttered after a productive partnership.
Sanju Samson and Dinesh Karthik didn’t stick around for long either; Odean Smith got rid of both of them in back to back overs, first beating Samson for pace and then trapping Karthik in front with a slower ball. That’s when Hardik Pandya, India’s stand-in captain, picked 19 runs off the 19th over, hitting Holder for 6, 4 and 6 but his run out in the last over meant India could pick only seven off it. They had to settle with 188/7 in 20 overs, with Smith finished with 3 for 33.
Axar leaves West Indies reeling
When Hardik handed Axar Patel the new ball, it took the left-arm spinner only three balls to strike. Holder was bowled by one that came in with the arm and before you knew, he had two more in the bag. Coming back for his third over on the trot, Axar struck with the wickets of Shamarh Brooks (stumped) and Devon Thomas (bowled). All that translated into a PowerPlay score of 38/3 and left West Indies far behind in the chase.
Hetmyer shines but Indian spinners too good
Even Shimron Hetmyer’s 28-ball fifty, the fastest of his T20I career, wasn’t enough to make up for West Indies’s false start. Kuldeep Yadav (3-12), Ravi Bishnoi (4-16) and Axar (3-15) combined to bowl the hosts out in only 15.4 overs.
Once Axar had left WI stuttering inside the PowerPlay, Kuldeep took over the reins pretty well in the middle overs and struck gold with Nicholas Pooran’s wicket in his first over. At 64/4 after 10 overs, it looked dreary for hosts at the halfway mark but it was about to go from bad to worse, Coming to bowl in the 12th over, Bishoi picked Rovman Powell and Keemo Paul inside two legal deliveries and then came back later to finish the game with another double strike. Kuldeep also chimed in with a double-wicket over, getting rid of Dominic Drakes and Smith.
Brief Scores: India 188/7 in 20 overs (Shreyas Iyer 64; Odean Smith 3-33) beat West Indies 100 all out in 15.4 overs (Shimron Hetmyer 56; Ravi Bishnoi 4-16, Kuldeep Yadav 3-12, Axar Patel 3-15) by 88 runs.