India's Venkatesh Iyer celebrating with teammates the dismissal of West Indies captain Kieron Pollard during the third T20I match  in Kolkata,on Sunday, February 20, 2022. (Abhijit Addya/IANS)

India's Venkatesh Iyer celebrating with teammates the dismissal of West Indies captain Kieron Pollard during the third T20I match in Kolkata,on Sunday, February 20, 2022. (Abhijit Addya/IANS)

3rd T20I: Suryakumar, Venkatesh and bowlers lead India to 3-0 series win over West Indies

Kolkata, February 20, 2022

A classy 65 off 31 balls from Suryakumar Yadav and an aggressive 35 off 19 by Venkatesh Iyer followed by a clinical bowling effort helped India beat West Indies by 17 runs in the 3rd T20I and complete a 3-0 clean sweep of the three-match series, at the Eden Gardens, here on Sunday.

Put in to bat first, India lost wickets at regular wickets and were in trouble at 93-4 but Yadav and Iyer then came to the rescue.

The pair stitched a big partnership of 91 runs for the fifth wicket and propelled India to 184-5 in 20 overs. Apart from Yadav and Iyer, Ishan Kishan also played a vital knock of 34 off 31 balls but once again he was not at his fluent best.

In reply, Nicholas Pooran smashed a fine 61 off 47 balls, Rovman Powell made 25 off 14 and Romario Shepherd 29 off 21 but their efforts were not enough.

The visitors needed 37 from the final three overs but Pooran fell in the 18th over bowled by Thakur. Shepherd tried hard but it was not enough as West Indies were restricted to 167-9 in 20 overs, losing the match by 17 runs.

Harshal Patel (3/22), Deepak Chahar (2/15), Venkatesh Iyer (2/23), Shardul Thakur (2/33) were the wicket-takers for India.

With this, India have won all the three one-day internationals (ODIs) and the three T20Is in the white-ball series between the two countries.

Earlier, India sent a new pair of Ishan Kishan and Ruturaj Gaikwad to open the innings. However, it didn't yield a positive result as Jason Holder dismissed Ruturaj Gaikwad for four, giving West Indies the first breakthrough in the 3rd over of the innings.

Shreyas Iyer, who was playing his first match of the series then joined Ishan at the crease. The duo hit a flurry of boundaries to tilt the momentum back in India's favour, taking hosts to 43/1 after six overs.

Hayden Walsh then put down a tough return catch to give Kishan a reprieve in the seventh over while Iyer whipped a Chase delivery to the cow-corner region for a four in the eighth over, bringing the 50-run stand for the second wicket between him and Ishan off 32 balls.

Just when it looked like the Indian batters would up the ante, Walsh struck in his second over to pick up the wicket of Iyer (25 off 16), who tried to go over the top but wasn't in full control of the shot and ended up slicing it to Holder at long-off. Soon, Roston Chase got rid of Kishan, who attempted the pull shot off but the ball came on straight and the batter was eventually bowled. Kishan departed for 34 off 31, leaving India at 66/3 after 9.3 overs.

After losing two quick wickets, India were in a spot of bother but the pair of Suryakumar Yadav and skipper Rohit Sharma had a much-needed partnership between them. Though Suryakumar, who looked in fine touch was the major contributor between the two as Rohit was far from his best.

It was Dominic Drakes, who gave the visitors their next wicket, dismissing Indian captain Rohit Sharma for 7 off 15 in the 14th over. From there on, Suryakumar and Venkatesh Iyer mixed caution with aggression and kept the scoreboard ticking with boundaries at regular intervals.

Both Suryakumar and Venkatesh played some beautiful shots and took 17 runs each in 16th and 17th overs respectively. Holder gave away only four off the first four balls of the 18th over but Venkatesh hit one six at the fine-leg fence off the fifth ball. Thereafter, Iyer and Suryakumar dealt in boundaries in the last two overs. During the process, Surya hit his fifty in the first ball of the last over and smashed two more sixes before getting out in the last delivery.

Overall, India got the much-needed late impetus after a top-order failure as both Venkatesh and Suryakumar scored 86 runs in the last five overs, taking India to 184-5 in 20 overs.

Brief scores: India 184-5 in 20 overs (Suryakumar Yadav 65, Venkatesh Iyer 35; Roston Chase 1/23) beat West Indies 167-9 in 20 Overs (Nicholas Pooran 61; Harshal Patel 3/22, Deepak Chahar 2/15 ) by 17 runs

IANS

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