Returning Iyer, Chahar star in India's clean sweep over the Windies

India rode on Iyer’s 80 and Chahar’s all-round abilities to demolish the West Indies by 96 runs and complete a clean sweep - a first against the Caribbeans in ODIs.

Shreyas Iyer top-scored for India with 80.   -  PTI

India made four changes to its playing eleven for the third ODI against the West Indies at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Friday - bringing in Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Kuldeep Yadav and Deepak Chahar.

With the three-match series already in the pocket, the team management decided to check the bench strength, keeping in mind the fact that it’s going to be a busy home season. And, that move worked for Rohit Sharma’s men as they rode on Iyer’s 80 and Chahar’s all-round abilities to demolish the West Indies by 96 runs and complete a clean sweep - a first against the Caribbeans in ODIs.

India vs West Indies Highlights, 3rd ODI: India routs West Indies by 96 runs to sweep series  

Batting lower down the order, Chahar chipped in with a 38-ball-38 to guide India to 265 and followed it up with a couple of wickets to restrict the touring party to 169.

Before the series got underway, the West Indies team management spoke about the importance of batters hanging in there for 50 overs. However, those words had very little impact on the team’s performance as none of the batters - except for Nicholas Pooran (34) and Odean Smith (36) - could step up. Chasing a rather challenging total, the West Indies failed to forge a steady partnership as openers Brandon King and Shai Hope could only add 19 runs before Hope was trapped leg before by Mohammad Siraj (3-29). After a while, an outswinger by Chahar saw King offering a low catch at slips to Suryakumar Yadav.

Three deliveries later, Chahar bowled another outswinger, and unable to control it, Brooks sliced it to Iyer at point. 

With three wickets down, Prasidh and Kuldeep, who returned to the team after a long injury layover, rattled the West Indies middle-order to tilt the game India’s way. Kuldeep had his first wicket in 16.2 overs when Fabian Allen was caught by Pant for a duck.

Even though there was a double appeal for catch and stumping, Allen reviewed the decision only for the DRS to find out that he was caught behind. A couple of overs later, Kuldeep tossed it up outside the off stump, forcing Pooran to play through the off-side, but it got an edge, went past Pant’s gloves and was caught by captain Rohit.

With all top batters gone, West Indies needed a miracle to fight back. With Prasidh, who claimed three wickets, and Siraj around, India ensured that there was no slip-up.

Deepak Chahar starred with both bat and ball. Photo: AP

 

Earlier, opting to bat, India suffered early blows as Alzarri Joseph removed captain Rohit (13) and Virat Kohli for a duck in the fourth over. While Rohit’s middle-stump was flattened by the young bowler, Kohli nicked a leg-side gift through to Hope for duck -15th of his career.

With 16-2, the focus was on Dhawan and Iyer to steady the innings. However, Odean Smith came up with extra bounce, forcing Dhawan to offer a catch at slip cordon to Jason Holder for just 10.

And, that’s when Iyer and Rishabh Pant (56) took charge and forged a 110-run stand. Initially taking time to settle down, Pant hit a flurry of boundaries to put the pressure back on the opponent, and at 119/3 after 25 overs, the stage was set for a big total.

Iyer, who had to miss out on the first couple of games due to COVID-19, completed his ninth ODI half-century with a single to deep extra cover. Pant, too, brought up his half-century with a single, but the partnership ended in the 30th over, when he was caught behind by Hope off leg-spinner Hayden Walsh. Suryakumar Yadav, then, followed suit for six. Even though Iyer tried hanging in, a sitter to Darren Bravo at long-off in the 38th over brought an end to his impressive innings.

After his dismissal, Chahar and Washington Sundar (33) stitched together 53 runs for the seventh wicket, guiding India to go past the 260-run mark, which eventually was enough for the home team to defend.

For more updates, follow Sportstar on :