It was a perfect weekend for the NRIs in and around Florida as India scored 191 for 5 for the first time with useful shots from Rishabh Pants (44 from 31 balls) and skipper Rohit Sharma (33 from 16 balls), and a cameo from Axar Patel (20 steps from 8 balls).
On a field where the most successful chase of any team is 98, a goal of 192 was simply out of the question, and the West Indies innings folded for a modest 132 in 19.1 overs.
How it happened
Kudos to @BCCI for the series win.👏🏿 #WIvIND #MenInMaroon https://t.co/XXaKM0YN26
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While Brandon King (13) and Kyle Mayers (14) started the chase on a bright note, hitting Bhuvneshwar Kumar for three limits in the opener, things went downhill from that point.
Saturday turned out to be the day Bhuvneshwar’s new ball partner Avesh Khan (2/17 in 4 overs) was ready to shed his debauchery tag with a few good spells.
For his 2⃣/1⃣7⃣ winning bowling match, @Avesh_6 wins Player of the Match award as #TeamIndia takes a… https://t.co/XtHxkxuxCe
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The delivery that stopped King on him and the result was an easy return catch.
One-drop hitter Devon Thomas (1) wanted to move on and Avesh’s fuller delivery didn’t hit the middle of his bat, and the resulting skier was easily taken by Deepak Hooda to complete one of his three takes.
Nicholas Pooran (24 from 8 balls) seemed in ominous contact with three monstrous sixes before Mayers sold him a dummy, pulling away on a non-existent single and he was blocked at midcourt when Pant whipped the bail.
While Axar Patel (2/48 from 4 overs) had a bit of stickiness, he retired Mayers and Rovman Powell (24 from 16 balls), both digging deep.
Arshdeep Singh (3/12 in 3.1 overs) then braked and it became a walk in the park by the time the back-10 started. Ravi Bishnoi also took the opportunity with a steady 2 for 27 in 4 overs.
At bat, Pant and skipper Rohit missed big shots but made valuable enough contributions to propel India 191-for-5.
Rohit and Pant were the main contributors while Axar hit some meaty shots towards the end to finish undefeated on 20 of 8 balls.
Sanju Samson was more moderate on his 30 steps from 23 balls, often failing to find the limits, which kept India from reaching 200.
For West Indies left-arm pacer Obed McCoy, cricket has indeed proven to be a great leveler as he was smoked for 66 runs from his 4 overs just a week after taking a career-best six wickets in the second ODI. It was the most expensive spell by a West Indies bowler in the T20I.
Rohit’s new approach to the power play may not have produced many big hits except for half a century, but he’s certainly leading the way with positive intent from the start.
McCoy had three sixes and 25 runs in an over. In those three, Rohit had a few highs – a deep mid-wicket pullover and a long-off flat over.
The one that earned him the most acclaim was a six-swept slog Akeal Hosein (1/28 in 4 overs), but the very next delivery, which was a little slower and the length slightly shorter, caused his downfall. .
But Rohit’s 33 from a 53 position, in less than five overs, set the tone and gave other batters the time and confidence to continue bowling.
The tendency to preserve wickets and then pursue bowling, which has plagued Indian T20 teams in the recent past, is no longer visible.
The strike rate cushion gave Pant and Deepak Hooda (21 on 19 balls) nearly six overs to produce a 47-run stand, which was the launch pad for Axar’s final touch.