India now leads the five-game series 2-1 with the cricket caravan moving to Florida in the United States for the final two games of the series.
Suryakumar Yadav’s half-century helps India win the third T20I and take a 2-1 series lead 🙌🏻#WIvIND Scorec… https://t.co/GD6rPqK2UC
— ICC (@ICC) 1659468870000
While more than 147 had never been chased in a T20I at the Warner Park ground, Suryakumar decided to change that script into a 44-ball shot as India made short work of the 165-point target in 19 overs.
How it happened
Shreyas Iyer (24 from 26 balls) was a perfect partner at the other end in an 86 stand as they made the target much easier than it actually was and that too on a surface that had no exactly the air favorable to batting during the first part of the game.
After experiencing a brief dry spell after his first hundred T20Is at Nottingham, Suryakumar was back in his element and this time in an unfamiliar role as fly-half, which he played during the series.
It was another 360 degree effort that showed off his flexibility, skill and hand-eye coordination all in one go. There were eight fours and four sixes in his shot.
7⃣6⃣ on 4⃣4⃣! 👍 👍@surya_14kumar set the stage on fire 🔥 🔥 and won Player of the Match award as #TeamIndia w… https://t.co/4bXiXDbP9G
— BCCI (@BCCI) 1659469431000
There was a perfect loft six on extra coverage from Alzarri Joseph, which will be hard to forget as he held his pose for several seconds after the execution.
There were six hits on the same bowler and ramp hit using pace and rebound, a deep pull over in the middle of the wicket and a cross punch in the middle of the fielder.
Against parsimonious left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein, there was a hard square-leg hit to end his half-century.
At the halfway point, the score was 96 for no loss despite skipper Rohit Sharma (11) who retired with a muscle strain in his back.
By the time Suryakumar was fired, India had the game under control with Rishabh Pants (33 steps on 26 balls) bringing the final touch.
After Rohit won a good draw and opted for the field, his bowling unit remained disciplined for the most part before the relative inexperience of Avesh Khan and Arshdeep Singh allowed West Indies to post a competitive score of 164 to 5.
Southpaw Kyle Mayers (73 from 50 balls) punished the Indian attack with eight fours and four sixes in his kitty as he added 50 in 7.2 overs with skipper Nicholas Pooran (22 from 23 balls) after a opening stand with Brandon King who gave 57.
While Avesh Khan’s poor performance (0/47 in 3 overs) remained like a sore thumb, the other bowlers put on a more than decent show without being exceptional.
Just as Dinesh Karthik is the team’s designated finisher in the batting order with 20 balls reserved for him, Arshdeep (1/33 in 4 overs) is being groomed as a death over specialist for his ability to roll those wide yorkers.
However, in the pressure cooker scenario of international cricket, the Punjab lad is still a work in progress.
The last two overs yielded 27 points thanks to Shimron Hetmyer (20 from 12 balls) and Rovman Powell (23 from 14 balls).
The revelation in India’s bowling attack was Hardik Pandya, who used the change of pace effectively, mixing his cutters and speed bumps with the occasional delivery of block holes, which accounted for King.
After reaching half a century in the last game, King looked irritated during his run-a-ball-20 before Pandya casted him. His final numbers of 4-0-19-1 with 12 scoops were certainly important in the final innings context.
In the middle of the overs, Ravichandran Ashwin (4-0-26-0) was also impressive as he also had a dozen point balls to his name.
Deepak Hooda, who was brought back into the XI in place of Ravindra Jadeja, was steady with the new ball while Bhuvneshwar Kumar (4-0-35-2) was steady as he always is in most cases.
He got rid of Pooran with extra pace and rebound, then pulled out the dangerous Mayer with a fuller delivery that grabbed, Rishabh Pant taking both holds.