After Romario Shepherd’s sensational bowling display, Brandon King and Nicholas Pooran starred with the bat to seal the five-match T20 series after beating India by 8 wickets in the fifth and final match at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium Turf Ground, here on Sunday. WEst Indies won the five-match series 3-2 — their first T20I series win over India since 2017.
After losing the first two matches, India bounced back strongly and clinched the next two games to level up the series but couldn’t continue with the momentum in the decider as they suffered their first T20 series loss against West Indies since 2017.
Moreover, this was India’s first series loss in 13 T20Is since July 2021.
After opting to bat first, India posted 165/9 in 20 overs, thanks to Suryakumar Yadav’s 61 off 45 and Axar Patel’s little cameo of 13 off 10. In response, opener Brandon King (85 not out) and Nicholas Pooran (47) fired for West Indies as the host wrapped up the match and the series.
Chasing 166, West Indies started off well with Kyle Mayers hitting a boundary and a six in the first over. The next over, Arshdeep Singh got the first breakthrough, dismissing the former for 10.
Then, Nicholas Pooran and Brandon King rolled up their sleeves and proceeded to dominate the Indian bowlers with an aggressive batting display.
Captain Hardik Pandya brought Kuldeep Yadav in attack in the Power-play and the spinner almost trapped Pooran with lbw but the batter survived as the ultra-edged showed a spike when the ball passed by the glove. Then, King smashed three sixes and a boundary in the sixth over as the Windies were raced to 61/1 at the end of the Power-play.
Pooran and King proceeded with the calculated approach in the next four overs as the West Indies were comfortably placed at 96-1 in 10 overs, needing only 70 needed with 9 wickets in hand.
In the 13th over, King completed his half-century as he danced down the track lofting it over long-off for a huge six. A moment later, the play stopped due to bad weather as the players were coming off the ground due to some lightning in the skies.
Soon after resumption, Tilak Varma got the big wicket of Pooran and denied him a half-century, breaking the 107-run partnership. Afterwards, King took bowlers to the cleaners before Shai Hope sealed the deal with a maximum as Windies wrapped the win with 12 balls to spare.
Earlier, India got off to a poor start as Akeal Hosein removed both openers — Yashasvi Jaiswal and Shubman Gill — in quick succession, leaving India 17/2 within three overs. Then, Suryakumar Yadav and Tilak staged a fightback and pushed the Power-play score to 51/2.
When Tilak was looking dangerous, Rostan Chase showcased exceptional alertness and skill by taking a remarkable caught-and-bowled opportunity to dismiss the left-hander, breaking the 49-run third-wicket partnership.
While the Windies kept chipping away with regular wickets, India were motoring along comfortably with Suryakumar Yadav batting beautifully at one end.
Soon, the game underwent a short delay as the rain got heavier to force the players to go off the field. And, ground-staff jumped into action straightaway and brought on the covers.
After play resumed, India lost four wickets in quick succession. Pandya struck a powerful blow that cleared long-off for a six but fell victim to Shepherd on the very next ball. Soon after, Suryakumar was sent back to the hut after a superb knock.
In the penultimate over, Shepherd stuck twice and claimed his third in the form of Arshdeep Singh and removed Kuldeep Yadav on the next delivery, finishing with a figure of 4-31.
Then, Axar Patel went for a few lusty blows in the final over to add crucial runs to the board. But with just two balls left, the rain has returned, causing another short delay. On the penultimate ball, Holder removed Axar and Mukesh Kumar finished it off with a boundary as India posted 165/9 in 20 overs.
India 165/9 in 20 overs (Suryakumar Yadav 61, Axar Patel 13; Romario Shepherd 4-31) lost to West Indies 171/2 in 18 overs (Brandon King 85 not out, Nicholas Pooran 47; Tilak Varma 1-17, Arshdeep Singh 1-20) by 8 wickets.