India vs Windies, 3rd T20I, Review - Shikhar Dhawan joins the party in a thriller at Chepauk

India vs Windies, 3rd T20I, Review – Shikhar Dhawan joins the party in a thriller at Chepauk

The game was decided on the last ball when the Indian team needed 1 to win.

Shikhar Dhawan
Shikhar Dhawan. (Photo Source: Twitter)

As expected, India did complete a clean sweep in the 3-match T20I series against the Windies. However, it didn’t come as easy as they would have expected it to be. With nothing to lose, the Windies batters went hard at the Indian bowlers and played some fearless cricket. Nicholas Pooran provided them with the much-needed impetus after a poor show in the last two games.

However, the bowlers failed to capitalise on the momentum that he provided. The duo of Shikhar Dhawan and Rishabh Pant turned out to be too good for them on the night. They played some terrific cricket with some brilliant hitting to light up Chennai with some post-Diwali celebrations. India won the match by a comfortable six wickets margin although the game got a little close in the last two overs.

Nicholas Pooran ‘reverse sweeps’ the bowlers

For a change, the side winning the toss, Windies on this occasion opted to bat first after winning the toss. Shai Hope walked out to open the innings alongside Shimron Hetmyer. This duo played some cautious yet aggressive cricket and added 51 runs in 6.1 overs for the opening wicket. Hope timed the ball beautifully and was seeming to be dangerous.

His partner on the other end also looked good and the Indian bowlers were definitely under the pump. They played some glorious shots all around the park. However, Yuzvendra Chahal, who was brought into the attack right after the powerplay did the undoing of Windies’ best batsmen in this series. Hope and Hetmyer scored 24 and 26 runs respectively before throwing away the good starts.

Darren Bravo and Denesh Ramdin were in next and India definitely pulled things back in the next few overs. The momentum slowly began to shift the home team’s way until Washington Sundar got the keeper-batsman clean bowled. Till then, these two were only dealing in singles and found it tough to pull off the big hits.

But even after Ramdin fell, it was the visitors who had the upper hand via a carnage from Nicholas Pooran. He smashed the Indian bowlers all over and his reverse sweeps were a treat to watch. 64 runs were added in the last five overs and it accounted for an 87-run partnership for the 4th wickets between Pooran and Bravo. The Trinidadian was unbeaten on 53 off 25 balls as the Windies ended their innings at 181/3 in 20 overs.

The Delhi boys take India home

In the run chase, India lost the in-form skipper Rohit Sharma early for 4 runs as he holed out at mid-off failing to get the elevation right. KL Rahul looked good in his brief stint out there in the middle. The Karnataka batsman scored 17 off 10 balls before he edged one to the keeper off the bowling of Oshane Thomas.

However, just as the side looked to be under pressure, Shikhar Dhawan pulled off a masterclass. He played his strokes, weighed the risks that he took and was majestic as always with his shot making. He registered a half-century after eight innings in T20I cricket.

Dhawan was assisted brilliantly by his Delhi team-mate Rishabh Pant. He took some time to get his eye in initially. Further, he had all the fortunes on his side this time as he registered his maiden T20I fifty. Given that he was under tremendous pressure, Pant has just done enough to silence his critics. He went all hammers and thongs after the bowlers and scored 58 runs before getting out to a ridiculous shot as India was just 7 runs short of a win.

There was another twist in the game when 1 run was needed off 2 balls. Dhawan, unfortunately, couldn’t score the winning runs and got out for 92, his highest score in T20Is. But, Manish Pandey, however, managed to score a lucky single off the last ball to win the match.

Brief Scores:

Windies – 181/3 in 20 overs (Nicholas Pooran 53*; Yuzvendra Chahal 2/28)

India – 182/4 in 20 overs (Shikhar Dhawan 92, Rishabh Pant 58; Keemo Paul 2/32)

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