Indian Cricket Team
Indian Cricket Team. Image Credits: Twitter

In the fifth and final T20 International in a five-match series in Florida on Sunday, India outwitted a demoralised West Indies team to secure an 88-run triumph. India, who hosted a rearranged batting order without their normal skipper, had Shreyas Iyer as their top scorer.

Rohit Sharma was among the players who received rest as Hardik Pandya took his place. Iyer’s 40-ball 64, which featured eight fours and two sixes, and Deepak Hooda’s 38 off 25 helped the visiting team score 188-7.

West Indies responded by giving up just 100 runs as India finished the T20 assignment with two victories in as many games and a 4-1 series victory against the Caribbean side.

Shreyas Iyer And Deepak Hooda
Shreyas Iyer And Deepak Hooda

We Don’t Feel We Are Playing In Miami But In Some Indian City: Hardik Pandya

Young leggie Ravi Bishnoi had a strong bowling performance, taking four wickets for 16 runs in 2.4 overs. As Indian spinners crushed the host team, Axar Patel had 3-15 in three overs and Kuldeep Yadav had 3-12 in four. Stand-in captain Pandya praised the atmosphere prior to the game and remarked:

“We don’t feel we are playing in Miami but in some Indian city. Fantastic to come abroad and get this support.” 

Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya. (Photo: Twitter)

India’s Post Match Celebration- The Real Show Stealer

But at Broward County Stadium, the post-game party was the real show stealer. The Indian athletes boarded a buggy and made a victory lap around the arena. In the same car, Rohit, Ravichandran Ashwin, and Dinesh Karthik also came for the medal presentation.

“Sharma, DK & Ashwin arrive to the medal presentation in style. Congratulations to @BCCI on the series win,” wrote Windies Cricket.  

It’s About How We Can Get Better From Here: Hardik Pandya

In addition to big contributions from Iyer and Hooda, Hardik’s 28 off 16 helped India achieve an impressive score after being asked to bat. With three arm balls, Axar swiftly dismissed West Indies’ improvised opener Jason Holder (0), Shamarah Brooks (13), and Devon Thomas (10), leaving them reeling at 33-3. 

India vs West Indies (Image Credits: Twitter)
India vs West Indies (Image Credits: Twitter)

West Indies were all out for 100 runs in just 16 overs, ending the bilateral series in a lopsided fashion. Bishnoi then claimed his share of wickets, while Kuldeep claimed three, including the opposition’s captain Nicholas Pooran. Together, they took four wickets for 16 runs in 2.4 overs. The player-of-the-match honour went to Axar. 

“The kind of talent the players we have and the freedom we’re getting, this is the New India. I can see players playing with freedom and not worrying about failing. And when you do that, you tend to do special things,” said Hardik in the post-match presentation. 

“I wanted to give Axar the ball early because he is used to bowling in the powerplay, he is capable of holding his own and then with the wrist spinners, I knew we could get the wickets. It’s about how we can get better from here.,” he added. 

We Were Just Not Good Enough: Nicholas Pooran

“We were just not good enough. We didn’t learn from our mistakes. We just weren’t up to the challenge, just didn’t put enough partnerships. To come up against tough teams, we need to be good in execution,” said West Indies captain Pooran. 

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