Shikhar Dhawan and Rishabh Pant’s brilliant 130-run partnership for the third wicket helped India register a thrilling six-wicket win over West Indies. @ PTI
Shikhar Dhawan and Rishabh Pant’s brilliant 130-run partnership for the third wicket helped India register a thrilling six-wicket win over West Indies. @ PTI

In the end, it was just not West Indies’ day even though the result came off the last ball.

Shikhar Dhawan and Rishabh Pant’s brilliant 130-run partnership for the third wicket helped India register a thrilling six-wicket win over West Indies in the third and final Twenty20 international at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Sunday. With the win, India complete a 3-0 series sweep as West Indies end their dismal tour of India with just one ODI win.

Posed with a 182-run target after Nicholas Pooran’s unbeaten 25-ball 53 led the tourists to a competitive run chase, India were two down with their key ODI specialists Rohit Sharma (4) and KL Rahul (17) dismissed inside the sixth over. Rohit, who scored an unbeaten 111 in the previous match in Lucknow, smashed it straight in the hands of Windies captain Carlos Brathwaite at mid-off to give Keemo Paul his first wicket.

Poor shot selection then cost Rahul his wicket after he tried to drive one, but ended up edging it to wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin behind off Oshane Thomas.

Dhawan and Pant then took control of the innings. Dhawan finally struck form and was belligerent in his 62-ball 92, his highest in T20Is, which was decorated with 10 boundaries and two sixes. Pant, meanwhile, showed good promise after a string of poor scores. The young wicketkeeper-batsman scored a brisk 58 off 38, including five boundaries and three sixes as the duo steered India from 45/2 in 5.2 overs to 175/3 in 18.2 overs.

Dhawan and Pant were strolling to the victory line, but an audacious shot sent Pant, who was cleaned up by Paul, back to end the massive partnership. Dhawan soon followed his partner back after clubbing it straight to long-on in the penultimate delivery of the innings with India needing one from one.

As nervous as it could get, with both new batsmen at the crease, Manish Pandey managed to gently tap it towards mid-on and could have been run-out at the other end, but Fabian Allen parried it past midwicket only to see Pandey jump for joy at the other end.

Earlier, an unbeaten 87-run partnership for the fourth wicket between Nicholas Pooran and Darren Bravo powered West Indies to 181/3.

Opting to bat, West Indies retained the same playing XI in the last match on the tour, an inconsequential one, after India sealed the three-match series 2-0 in Lucknow.

Shimron Hetmyer and Shai Hope laid the foundation with a 51-run partnership. However, India struck back with legspinner Yuzvendra Chahal, playing his first match of the series with Kuldeep Yadav rested, accounting for both the Windies openers.

Chahal had Hope, who tried to go for another slog sweep, but ended up picking Washington Sundar at deep midwicket to depart for 22-ball 24, with three boundaries and a six to his name. West Indies lose their first wicket in 6.1 overs. Hetmyer followed his partner 16 balls later after cutting it straight to Krunal Pandya at deep backward point. The 21-year-old departed after scoring 26 off 21.

Ramdin scored a run-a-ball 15 before he smashed it back onto the stumps to give Sundar, who was pretty expensive in his 1/33, his first wicket.

Social media went abuzz to see Pooran out in the middle with captain Carlos Brathwaite and T20 expert Kieron Pollard still in the dugout. However, Pooran repaid faith in the decision and blazed away to a brilliant 25-ball 53, bringing up his maiden T20I half century, an innings that was decorated with four boundaries and as many hits over the fence. Bravo struggled for his 37-ball 43, but provide good support to Pooran.

For India, Chahal was the pick of the bowlers with 2/28 in his four overs. Bhuvneshwar Kumar had an off day going for 39 runs in his four overs with no wicket.

Brief scores: India 182/4 in 20 overs (Shikhar Dhawan 92, Rishabh Pant 58; Keemo Paul 2/32) beat West Indies 181/3 in 20 overs (Nicholas Pooran 53*, Darren Bravo 43*; Yuzvendra Chahal 2/28) by six wickets to clinch series 3-0