BASSETERRE, Saint Kitts (AP) — Suryakumar Yadav’s 44-ball 76 fired India past West Indies by seven wickets and to a 2-1 lead in their Twenty20 series on Tuesday.
Yadav opened and sprayed four sixes and eight boundaries around Warner Park. By the time he was out in the 15th over, India’s winning target was down to 30 runs from 33 balls with eight wickets in hand.
India strolled in with 165 for three and six balls to spare after West Indies put up 164 for five.
The series moves to Lauderhill, Florida, for the last two matches this weekend.
India captain Rohit Sharma retired hurt in the second over of the chase with a back spasm after dragging a boundary. Afterward, he said he should be OK by the weekend.
Yadav stayed focused and kept hitting at a rate faster than West Indies achieved. After the powerplay, India were a comparable 11 runs ahead. After 10 overs, India was 31 runs ahead.
“When Rohit went inside, it was important for someone to bat 15-17 overs,” Yadav said. “(That) was myself and I expressed myself. Just backed myself and enjoyed it.”
Yadav reached his fifth T20 50 by hitting spinner Akeal Hosein for a six over deep square leg.
His entertaining innings was finally undone while trying to sweep medium-pacer Dominic Drakes and top-edging to fine leg.
Rishabh Pant finished off proceedings with an unbeaten 33 from 26 balls.
Like India, West Indies’ total was built around one innings, Kyle Mayers’ 73 from 50 balls. Like Yadav, Mayers struck four sixes and eight boundaries.
Mayers didn’t have a like-minded partner, however.
Brandon King’s 20 off 20 and captain Nicholas Pooran’s 22 off 23 held back West Indies from accelerating.
India bowlers Hardik Pandya, one for 19, and Ravichandran Ashwin, 0 for 26, also slowed down the home side, while Bhuvneshwar Kumar got the key wicket of Mayers with a slower ball.
“How we bowled in the middle overs, that was crucial,” Sharma said. “They were about to get a quick partnership. We used the conditions and our variations really well. And then how we chased, it was quite clinical.”
West Indies thought it could defend 164 a day after bowling out India for 138, but Yadav disagreed.