Deepak Chahar, Rishabh Pant star as India blank West Indies 3-0

Deepak Chahar and Rishabh Pant starred in the third and the final T20I at Providence Stadium, Guyana as India blanked West Indies 3-0 in the series with a seven-wicket win, chasing a target of 147 on Tuesday.

While it was a day Rahul Chahar would cherish for a long time as he earned his maiden international cap, it was the senior Chahar, Deepak, who stole the limelight initially with a terrific spell of three overs that saw him concede just four runs, with a maiden to go with it. And, he had the hosts West Indies reeling at 14/3 early.

The hosts eventually went on to make 146/6 and had India on the backfoot with the early wickets of Shikhar Dhawan (3) and KL Rahul (20), but skipper Virat Kohli was in his elements and combined with young Pant for a stand of 106 runs for the third wicket off 77 balls to anchor the Indian chase. He went on to register his 21st T20I fifty, equaling Rohit Shamra, who was rested for the game, with the player with most 50+ scores in the format. He fell for 59, caught at backward point off Oshane Thomas.

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During his knock Kohli hit six fours, while Pant played a chancy innings for his first substantial score of the tour, registering his second T20I fifty – reaching the milestone with an audacious flick towards backward square leg off just 37 balls – after he managed 0 and 4 in the first two T20Is. He finished at 65 not out off 42 balls as India cantered home with five balls to spare – the winning six coming off the wicketkeeper-batsman’s bat.

Earlier, Chahar’s three-wicket burst was followed by a brief rebuilding phase for WI led by Kieron Pollard, but Navdeep Saini took the wind of the Windies’ sails with the wickets of Nicholas Pooran (17) and Pollard (58), as the hosts went on to post 146/6 courtesy Rowan Powell’s 32 not out off 20 balls, after the Indian skipper had won the toss and opted to bowl.

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In the Caribbean – after two matches at Miami – both teams were greeted with sumptuous rain that led to a delay in toss of over an hour, but with Kohli calling it right at the toss for the third straight time, it provided him with the opportunity to give his bowlers the first crack on the covered pitch and Deepak utilised the conditions to the hilt with prodigious swing that had Sunil Narine back in the hut in the second over – caught at mid-off by Saini – for two. An over later, Evin Lewis fell for 10, after registering two ducks in the first two matches, trapped in front by Deepak. On the way out, he wasted a review as well.

Deepak’s third success, in his third over, came in the form of Shimron Hetmyer, again lbw, for 1 before Pollard and Pooran put on 64 runs for the fourth wicket as Washington Sundar and debutant Rahul were targeted by the batsmen. Pollard started off well with a straight drive for six off Saini before adding five further hits over the boundary en route to his third T2oI fifty – his first international fifty in seven years – before being foxed a Saini slower one.

Pooran was earlier caught behind by Pant. West Indies then lost skipper Carlos Barthwaite, caught in the deep, to hand Rahul his first international wicket. Powell though powered WI close to the 150-mark with two sixes in Saini’s last over. Sundar (3-0-23-0), Rahul (3-0-27-1) and Krunal Pandya (4-0-35-0) proved to be expensive.

India had made three changes to their XI, handing debut to Rahul Chahar in place of Ravindra Jadeja, while Deepak and KL Rahul got a game in place of Rohit and Khaleel Ahmed.

Brief Score: India (Rishabh Pant 65*, Virat Kohli 59; Oshabe Thomas 2/29) beat West Indies: 146/6 (Kieron Pollard 58, Rowman Powell 32*; Deepak Chahar 3/4) by seven wickets.