Virat Kohli and Rishabh Pant blasted 50s as India cleanswept the West Indies 3-0 in the Twenty20 International series. (Image credit: Twitter)
Before the Guyana Twenty20 International, there was immense pressure piling on Rishabh Pant, India's first-choice keeper who fell cheaply in the first two matches. However, in the final game of the series, Pant silenced his critics in grand style with his maiden fifty and shared a partnership of 106 with Virat Kohli, who smashed his 21st fifty. Pant and Kohli's fifties, backed up earlier by a superb spell of 3/4 from Deepak Chahar helped India beat West Indies by seven wickets and achieve their second consecutive 3-0 clean sweep against the two-time World T20 champions in Providence Stadium on Tuesday.
The start of the match itself, though, was delayed by rain and a wet outfield for an hour but the superior drainage at Providence meant that no overs were lost. India chose to bowl and they rested Rohit Sharma and brought in Rahul Chahar for his debut. However, it was Deepak Chahar who gave India plenty to smile with a superb burst at the start. Deepak removed Sunil Narine, Evin Lewis and Shimron Hetmyer in three overs as he ended with a spell of 3-1-4-3.
However, as in the previous two matches, it was Kieron Pollard who once again revived West Indies as he dealt primarily in sixes. Pollard got off the mark with a six while he handed Rahul Chahar a tough debut by launching a couple of sixes off the legspinner. Pollard blasted another six off Washington Sundar while Nicholas Pooran notched up the fifty-run stand with a six off Krunal Pandya.
Navdeep Saini broke the stand when he sent back Pooran but Pollard notched up his fifty with two huge sixes off Krunal. However, Saini continued to be impressive when he removed Pollard for 58. Rahul Chahar had his moment when he took his maiden wicket in the form of West Indies skipper Carlos Brathwaite. West Indies were boosted by two sixes from Rovman Powell in the final over as the Windies reached 146/6.
In response, Shikhar Dhawan's poor run continued as he pulled Oshane Thomas to short fine leg and KL Rahul, after a solid start, perished for 20 to Fabian Allen. Kohli and Pant steadied the ship and did not allow the asking rate to mount. It was Pant who broke the shackles in the 13th over when he launched Keemo Paul over extra cover for a six.
In the 15th over, Paul conceded a four and a six off both Kohli and Pant while Narine's 16th over got two fours as India sealed their sixth consecutive win in Twenty20 Internationals against West Indies, having earlier defeated them 3-0 in the previous series. This was West Indies' 58th loss in the format, which is the most by any team. India emulated the previous record held by Pakistan which was five consecutive wins and this result has once again asserted the Indian team's dominance.