Tuesday’s third T20 International saw India cruise to a seven-wicket victory against the West Indies, largely thanks to a masterful 76 by Suryakumar Yadav.
India now leads the five-match series 2-1, and the cricket caravan travels to Florida in the United States for the last two matches.
Suryakumar played a 44-ball knock as India defeated the 165-run goal in 19 overs, shattering the Warner Park venue’s record of never having more than 147 pursued in a T20I.
In a stand of 86, Shreyas Iyer (24 off 26 balls) was the perfect companion at the other end because they made the goal seem much more straightforward than it was, especially on a surface that didn’t initially appear to be batting-friendly.
After a short dry spell after his first T20I century at Nottingham, Suryakumar was back in his element, playing an unexpected position as the series opener, which he has been doing.
He again displayed his flexibility, skill, and hand-eye coordination in a 360-degree effort. His knock had eight fours and four sixes.
Alzarri Joseph made a picture-perfect lofted six over extra cover that will be hard to forget since he maintained his position for a few seconds after the shot was made.
The same bowler produced a sliced six, a draw over deep mid-wicket, a cross-batted punch over the mid-on fielder, and a ramp shot with velocity and bounce.
He finished his fifty against the frugal left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein with a slog sweep over the square leg.
At the halfway point, the score was 96 for no loss despite Rohit Sharma (11) having to leave the game due to a pulled-back muscle.
When Suryakumar was out, India already had the game in hand, with Rishabh Pant (33 not out off 26 balls) putting the final touches on the victory.
West Indies put up a respectable 164 for 5 after Rohit won the toss and chose to field. His bowling unit maintained composure for most of the innings till Avesh Khan and Arshdeep Singh’s relative inexperience caused this.
Left-handed After an opening stand with Brandon King that produced 57, Kyle Mayers (73 off 50 balls) did punish the Indian attack with eight fours and four sixes in his arsenal. He then added 50 in 7.2 overs with captain Nicholas Pooran (22 off 23 balls).
Avesh Khan’s poor performance (0/47 in 3 overs) stood out like a sore thumb, while the other bowlers delivered a solid performance without standing out.
Arshdeep (1/33 in 4 overs) is being prepped as a death overs specialist for his ability to bowl those wide yorkers, much as Dinesh Karthik is the team’s designated finisher in the batting order with 20 balls set aside for him.
However, the Punjabi lad is still a work in progress in the high-pressure environment of international cricket.
With the help of Shimron Hetmyer (20 off 12 balls) and Rovman Powell, the last two overs produced 27 runs (23 off 14 balls).
The standout bowler for India was Hardik Pandya, who used the speed shift well by blending his cuts and slower deliveries with an odd block-hole ball to dismiss King.
King looked scratchy throughout his run-a-ball 20, and after hitting a half-century in the previous match, Pandya castled him. In the context of the innings, his ultimate stats of 4-0-19-1 with 12 dot balls were unquestionably significant. Ravichandran Ashwin (4-0-26-0), who also had a dozen dot balls to his credit, was brilliant throughout the middle overs.
Deepak Hooda replaced Ravindra Jadeja in the playing XI, who bowled a decent over with the new ball. Bhuvneshwar Kumar (4-0-35-2) also bowled steadily, as he usually does on most occasions.
Rishabh Pant took both catches as he got rid of Pooran with more speed and bounce and dangerous Mayer with a more giant, grippier ball.