India vs West Indies, 3rd ODI
West indies 137 (26/35)
After tight contests in the first two matches that went down to the final ball, India rode on a career-best unbeaten 98 from Shubman Gill to sweep past West Indies in the third ODI and win the series 3-0.
There were also strong performances from captain Shikhar Dhawan, who scored 58; Shreyas Iyer, who made 44 off 34 balls; and Yuzvendra Chahal, who took 4 for 17 in just four overs.
Frequent rain delays had forced India's innings to be curtailed to 40 overs, and the visitors were on 225 for 3 in 36 when another interruption left Gill stranded 2 short of his maiden ODI century. The West Indies were set a target of 257 in 35 overs according to the DLS method, and they were never in the chase.
Mohammed Siraj struck twice in the second over of the chase, bowling Kyle Mayers with a good length delivery and trapping Shamarh Brooks lbw with one that angled in. Nine deliveries into their innings, West Indies were 0 for 2.
Brandon King and Shai Hope brought them back on track with a 47-run stand before Yuzvendra Chahal had Hope stumped for 22. King and his captain Nicholas Pooran began another recovery, but Axar Patel's arm-ball in the 14th over bowled King for 42.
Pooran hit Deepak Hooda's part-time offspin for a six and a four immediately after, keeping his team afloat as the required rate hovered around eight an over. However, Keacy Carty's struggle to get going seemed to put pressure back on Pooran, and when Carty finally decided to try something different - skipping down to Shardul Thakur in the 19th over - he bottom edged on to his stumps for 5 off 17 balls.
By then, West Indies needed nearly 10 an over, and when Pooran was dismissed for 42 - caught at mid-on off Prasidh Krishna - in the 22nd over, the game was up.
West Indies' struggle for partnerships was in contrast to how India had built their innings, despite being interrupted by the weather. Following stands of 119 and 48 in the first two matches, the openers Dhawan and Gill put on 113 in the third ODI. It was an innings of two halves for India: the first 24 overs produced 115 runs; the next 12 yielded 110.
When play resumed after the first rain delay, India had 16 overs remaining, and Gill and Iyer switched gears to accelerate. They came down the pitch to the spinners, attempted reverse sweeps, played aerial pulls and drives, and kept lofting over the in-field.
Gill and Iyer added 86 for the second wicket in less than ten overs, making up for the sedate beginning after Dhawan had won the toss. Dhawan was quiet to start the innings, his 58 coming off 74 balls on a slow pitch where he did try attacking, but often failed to time and place the ball.
In contrast, India scored 31 runs off the first two overs after the rain break - including four fours and two sixes - but Gill and Iyer's momentum was soon broken by the rain once again.
When play resumed, there was no time to lose, and Iyer swung Hayden Walsh Jr's second ball over deep square leg for six. He placed the next ball to the backward-point boundary, before Gill ended the over by lofting the spinner over his head for another six.
West Indies brought pace from the other end, only for Iyer to hit a four off Jayden Seales and Gill to slam consecutive fours, the first of which was supremely timed past mid-off. Both batters continued finding the boundary against Jason Holder and Akeal Hosein, before Iyer swatted Hosein to long-on for 44 off 34 balls.
Gill finished with a run-a-ball 98 after being 51 off 65 balls at one stage, but he could have got to his maiden ODI hundred had he been a bit quicker at the end: he scored only 13 off his last 14 deliveries. In the end, though, he had done enough to win India the match and himself the Player-of-the-Series award.
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