Ahmedabad: Fifties from Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant rescued India from an early wobble before cameos from Deepak Chahar and Washington Sundar helped the hosts post a competitive 265 in their 50 overs in the third ODI against the West Indies at the Narendra Modi Stadium Friday.
On a pitch that was used in the second ODI on Wednesday, West Indies kept the Indian batters on a tight leash in the first ten overs before the Iyer-Pant stand of 110 came. For the visitors, who found some extra bounce and help off the pitch, Jason Holder finished with figures of 4/34 in his eight overs.
The start was excellent for West Indies as Alzarri Joseph’s twin strikes put them in early control of the match. Captain Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli departed in the span of three balls in the fourth over. While Sharma chopped on to flatten his middle-stump, Kohli was strangled down leg-side for a two-ball duck.
Shikhar Dhawan struggled to get off the mark till he lofted Kemar Roach over deep extra cover for a six in the seventh over. Dhawan’s scratchy stay at the crease came to an end as he cut the short ball from Odean Smith. But the extra bounce on the ball took the top edge straight to Jason Holder at slip.
Pant and Iyer joined forces to forge an important partnership to steer India out of trouble from 42/3. Iyer was fantastic in playing a cheeky uppercut followed by a straight drive off Smith in the 16th over. Pant, on the other hand, started off watchfully, and then cracking boundaries began to flow off his bat. Once the partnership for the fourth wicket crossed the half-century mark, boundaries began to flow consistently from the bats of both Pant and Iyer.
Iyer was the first to reach fifty off leg-spinner Hayden Walsh in 74 balls. Two overs later, Pant reached his fifty off left-arm spinner Fabian Allen in just 47 balls. Neither of the duo took any unnecessary risk, barring the huge mix-up in the start, as the run rate began to increase. The partnership of 110 off 124 balls for the fourth wicket was broken by Walsh as Pant tried to cut close to his body but the ball bounced a little and took a faint toe-edge to keeper Shai Hope.
Iyer continued to march forward despite losing Suryakumar Yadav to a sharp catch at point while trying to take on Allen. Five overs later, in a bid to go big against Walsh, Iyer went for the loft but didn’t get to pitch of the ball and picked out long-off.
Chahar displayed his hitting prowess while using his feet to give India a late flourish alongside Sundar. Chahar took Walsh to cleaners in the 44th over, slamming fours down the ground and over backward-point followed by tonking a six over wide long-on. Though Chahar was undone by a slower bouncer from Holder in the 46th over, he had done his job for giving India some momentum in the fag end of the innings.
Holder took out Kuldeep Yadav before Sundar played some exquisite shots off him and Joseph. Eventually, Holder forced Sundar to give a simple catch to extra cover in the final over before taking out Mohammed Siraj on the last ball of the innings for his fourth scalp.
Brief scores: India 265 all out in 50 overs (Shreyas Iyer 80, Rishabh Pant 56, Jason Holder 4/34, Alzarri Joseph 2/54) against West Indies