Basseterre (St Kitts): Suryakumar Yadav finally succeeded at the top of the order after two successive below-par scores as India defeated the West Indies by seven wickets in the third T20 International at Warner Park to take a 2-1 lead in the five-match series.
On a day when the visitors had a major injury scare with Rohit Sharma retiring hurt while batting due to a back spasm, Suryakumar took off smashing a 44-ball 76 as India overhauled West Indies’ score of 164/5 for the loss of just three wicket and an over to spare.
All-rounder Hardik Pandya, while not quite contributing much with the bat or ball, however achieved the rare double of 500 runs and 50 wickets.
Pandya dismissed Brandon King after a fifty-run opening stand between him and Kyle Mayers to become the sixth India men’s player to 50 T20I wickets. Ravindra Jadeja, who completed the feat in the previous T20I, was the last to get to the landmark.
However, by completing 50 T20I wickets, Hardik Pandya also completed a double of 500 runs and 50 wickets in T20Is, becoming the 11th men’s player and 30th overall to the feat. Pandya has a total of 806 T20I runs.
The only other Indian to achieve this rare double in T20Is is Deepti Sharma, who currently has 65 T20I wickets and 521 runs.
Among the men’s players to get to this double, Hardik is the latest to make his T20I debut, having first played for India in 2016, according to ICC.
Pandya has been in good form with the ball this year in limited-overs cricket. He has eight wickets in T20Is and six in ODIs with two four-wicket hauls.
In St Kitts on Tuesday, Pandya bowled a spell of 4-0-19-1 to restrict the West Indies. Importantly, he drew the breakthrough for India after the West Indies openers put on a half-century stand.
West Indies skipper Nicholas Pooran rued the fact that his bowlers couldn’t make early breakthroughs.
“I felt like we had to get early wickets and we didn’t get early wickets. I felt like we should have dragged it back early in the power-play but unfortunately, we couldn’t get that wicket,” said Pooran.
“At the (halfway stage of the game) we felt like we had enough. India bowled well… they used the pitch really good. The wicket was a bit on the slower side and we felt it would be difficult to keep scoring on it. Again, if we had gotten early wickets it would have been a different game.”
Brief scores: West Indies 164/5 in 20 overs (Kyle Mayers 73, Bhuvneshwar Kumar 2/35) lost to India 165/3 in 19 overs (Suryakumar Yadav 76, Rishabh Pant 33 not out) by seven wickets.