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India vs West Indies: Hosts ride Shikhar Dhawan’s 92 to clinch last-ball thriller

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Riding on a last-ball finish, India clinched a nervy yet thrilling six-wicket win over the West Indies to win the series 3-0 at the Chepauk Stadium in Chennai.

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Windies skipper Carlos Brathwaite won the toss and opted to bat first on a track that had something in it for the spinners. His decision was well-justified by the openers Shai Hope and Shimron Hetmyer who got their team off to a flying start with a 51-run stand in six overs.

But hope, trying to continue with his attacking intent skied one off the first ball of Yuzvendra Chahal who replaced Kuldeep Yadav, and local boy Washington Sundar safely pouched it. Chahal struck again, and this time, it was Hetmyer, who perished while trying to keep up with the momentum. A slightly quicker delivery had the left-hander cut it hard and the catch was lobbed by Krunal Pandya at backward point. All of a sudden, the visitors had lost two of their best batsmen.

Also read: India vs West Indies: Hosts eye whitewash; Caribbeans to fight for pride

There was only a six in store for Denesh Ramdin in is 15-ball 15, as he played on a delivery from Sundar right on the stumps in an attempt to find some room and cut it as India were slowly clawing their way back into the contest by chipping in with wickets at regular intervals.

But the Caribbean side, who has had a disastrous tour so far didn’t throw away the terrific start they got as a partnership of 87 runs between Darren Bravo and Nicolas Pooran e ensured that there weren’t any more slip-ups.

Pooran the more aggressive of the duo clobbered his way to an unbeaten 53 from just 25 balls with four fours and as many sixes took the Indian bowling to the cleaners. Bravo, meanwhile played out a patient 43 from 37 balls as the duo made sure that their team ends their innings with 181/3 runs on the board.

Chasing a total as high as 182, India got off to very poor start with skipper Rohit Sharma falling in the third over while attempting to punish a slower delivery from Keemo Paul. KL Rahul was the next to follow after he failed to get to the pitch of a ball by Oshane Thomas as Ramdin pocketed the catch behind the stumps to leave India at 45/2.

But a terrific 130-run stand between Dhawan and Rishabh Pant was enough to secure the outcome of the contest. The left-handed duo didn’t let any-slip ups happen as they brought India on the track to secure a win.

Eventually, it was left to the last ball of the match to decide the outcome. Dhawan was dismissed on the very penultimate ball of the chase which brought out Dinesh Karthik to the crease. With one run required off the last ball, Manish Pandey hit the ball which was misfielded by Allen the bowler as India scrambled for a run.

Brief scores: India 182 for 4 (Dhawan 92, Pant 58) beat West Indies 181 for 3 (Pooran 53*, Bravo 43*) by six wickets.

Image credit- NDTV Sports

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