3rd T20I: Suryakumar Yadav, Tilak Varma shine as India keep series alive with seven-wicket win
Suryakumar Yadav was back to his dismissive best as India defeated the West Indies by seven wickets in the third T20I here on Tuesday. After Kuldeep Yadav (3/28) stopped the flow of runs in the middle overs, West Indies skipper Rovman Powell's stunning 40 not out off 19 balls moved the hosts to 159 for five.
In the run chase, debutant Yashavi Jaiswal (1) and Shubman Gill (6) were out cheaply before Suryakumar came up with a remarkable 83 off 44 balls to help India reach the goal in 17.5 overs.
Tilak Varma (49 not out off 37 balls) was content to back up his senior Mumbai Indians colleague in their 87-run partnership. Tilak missed his second consecutive fifty in his first series as skipper Hardik Pandya struck the winning six.
The West Indies lead the five-match series 2-1, with the next game scheduled for Saturday in Lauderhill, Florida.
Suryakumar, who has had a quiet trip thus far, hit his opening ball for a boundary. It's nearly hard to stop Suryakumar when he's finding gaps at will, and that's exactly what the West Indies bowlers had to deal with on Tuesday.
His inning featured 10 fours and four sixes, with the highlight being a picture-perfect straight smash over the head of pacer Obed McCoy.
Following Suryakumar's expulsion in the 13th over, Hardik and Tilak performed the necessary. The southpaw, who started his inning with back-to-back fours, demonstrated that he is here to stay.
Earlier, in the 15th over, Kuldeep dismissed the dangerous Nicholas Pooran (20 off 12) and a well-set Brandon King (42 off 42) to reclaim momentum from the West Indies.
The game was delayed somewhat because the 30-yard circle was not demarcated, which was a rare occurrence.
The West Indies had their strongest start of the series after deciding to bat, with King and Kyle Mayers (25 off 20) sharing a 55-run stand.
As predicted, the surface was sluggish, prompting Hardik to add spin as early as the third over through Axar Patel, who allowed a couple of boundaries.
Yuzvendra Chahal the Leggie, who generally does not bowl in the opening six overs, was assigned that assignment. But Mayers immediately put Chahal under strain by sweeping him for a six.
Kuldeep, the third spinner, came in to bowl after the powerplay and was thrashed for four on his first delivery by Mayers. A brave King stepped out three balls later to dispatch Kuldeep's googly for a straight six.
After Mayers and Johnson Charles were fired, Pooran joined King and attempted to establish his dominance over the Indian bowlers.
He came down the track and knocked Kuldeep over far on before collecting a boundary on the following ball.
Kuldeep, on the other hand, had the final laugh when he tripped a charging Pooran. Kuldeep collected a superb return catch four balls later to dismiss King, leaving West Indies at 106 for four in 14.5 overs.
Skipper Powell then hit three sixes in the final two overs to boost the total. Arshdeep Singh's 19th over yielded 17 runs, providing the home team with a much-needed boost. The hosts scored 53 runs in the final 30 balls.