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Wednesday, January 22, 2020

India’s top order produce batting masterclass to steamroll West Indies in final T20I

India posted 240/3 in their 20 overs as the top order - Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli - fired on all cylinders. West Indies could post 173/8 in reply, losing by 67 runs. India have won the series 2-1.

By: Sports Desk | Updated: December 11, 2019 11:00:35 pm
Virat Kohli’s unbeaten 70 off 29 balls had taken India to a massive total of 240/3 in their 20 overs. (AP Photo)

India have beaten West Indies in the 3rd T20I at the Wankhede in Mumbai on Wednesday to win the series 2-1.

India had earlier taken a 1-0 lead in Hyderabad, but India’s troubles when batting first returned to haunt them in the second match in Thiruvananthapuram, as West Indies drew level. In Mumbai on Wednesday, Virat Kohli’s men rose to the challenge and won by 67 runs.

First Innings: India posted a massive 240/3, as three batsmen scored more than 70 for the first time in a T20I innings. Rohit Sharma (71 off 34 balls) and KL Rahul (91 off 56 balls) got India off to a blistering start. Both batsmen looked set for a triple-digit score at a time, till Rohit was dismissed in the 11th over. India’s experiment with a pinch-hitting No.3 continued. though Rishabh Pant could only produce a 2-ball duck. Rahul was joined by Virat Kohli in the 13th over.

With Rahul carrying on at the other end, Kohli (70* off 29 balls) played like a man possessed in the 3rd T20I. He brought up his fifty in 21 balls – his fastest fifty in T20Is. His 29-ball knock had seven sixes and four fours. This was not his highest scoring innings, given that he came in only in the 13th over, but the intensity of his carnage ensured that West Indies would have a mountain to climb in their chase.

Second Innings: The West Indies innings needed to a good start for them to stand a chance of chasing down the massive target. This was not to be. Evin Lewis, who suffered an injury in the field in the first innings, was unavailable to bat. Lendl Simmons (7), Brandon King (5) and Nicholas Pooran (0) departed without troubling the scorers much, as West Indies found themselves struggling at 17/3 in the 4th over.

From then on, Shimron Hetmyer (41 off 24 balls) and Kieron Pollard (68 off 39 balls) did a great job of infusing excitement into a match that was heavily tipped in the hosts’ favour. Hetmyer perished by holing out in the deep. Whatever remaining hopes West Indies would have had of making a contest out of the match was snuffed out with Pollard’s wicket in the 15th over. By the time Pollard departed, they needed 100 runs to win in 5 overs.

Gamechanger: India’s top order came out all guns blazing in the 3rd T20I. The Indian team’s weakness while batting first is well chronicled by statistics. Kohli had said before the match that the team had been guilty of batting too tentatively when posting targets. On Wednesday, all of that changed as the Indian batsmen looked to be in the mood to set some records straight. If Rohit’s 71 got the innings off on the right note, Rahul’s 91 kept the flow going and Kohli’s blistering 70 ensured West Indies would be on the mat even before coming out to bat.

Brief Scores: IND 240/3 (20 overs) | WI 173/8 (20 overs)

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