It was a trial by spin for the West Indies
in the fifth and final T20I against India in Lauderhill, Florida. For the first
time in T20I cricket, the Indian spinners – Axar Patel, Ravi Bishnoi, and
Kuldeep Yadav – picked up all ten wickets in an innings to bowl out the West
Indies for 100 after Shreyas Iyer’s half-century took the Men in Blue to
another commanding first innings total of 188. With this thumping 88-run
victory, India clinched the series 4-1 to continue their superlative form in
the shortest format ahead of the upcoming T20 World Cup.
Both sides made four changes for the final
encounter of the tour, with Hardik Pandya leading India in the absence of the
rested Rohit Sharma. Ishan Kishan struggled with the pace of the pitch on his
return to the side, falling for an 11-ball 13, but his opening partner, Shreyas
Iyer, made full use of his opportunity at the top of the order. The opener
scored 25 of India’s 53 runs in the powerplay and timed a couple of elegant
sixes against Odean Smith to race away to a 30-ball half-century.
Iyer added 76 runs alongside Deepak Hooda
(38 off 25) to take India to 95 for one at the halfway mark. However, after a
17-run 11th over from Obed McCoy, the tourists lost their way temporarily, with
both set batters falling in quick succession. India managed only 34 runs for
the loss of three wickets between overs 11 to 16 to stall their progress, but
Hardik Pandya went 6,4,6 against Jason Holder in the 19th to take the visitors
to 188 for seven.
In reply, the West Indies run chase stalled
from the outset. Axar Patel began the proceedings with a wicket maiden in the
first over, castling the promoted Jason Holder with an arm ball that went
straight on. The left-armer went on to pick up two more wickets inside the
powerplay, removing Shamarh Brooks and Devon Thomas with deliveries that failed
to turn and skidded on, leaving the hosts reeling at 38 for three.
Shimron Hetmyer kept the West Indies
interested with a 28-ball half-century that included five fours and four sixes,
but the left-hander was left stranded by his team-mates, who wilted against the
wrist-spin of Kuldeep Yadav and Ravi Bishnoi. Nicholas Pooran was trapped dead
in front by Kuldeep Yadav before a pair of googlies from Ravi Bishnoi sent back
Rovman Powell and Keemo Paul in the same over.
Yadav’s wrong un’s removed Dominic Drakes
and Odean Smith in the next over, and Bishnoi wrapped up the innings with
another pair of wickets to give India a resounding 88-run victory and seal the