Dhawan shines as India beat West Indies by six wickets
CHENNAI: A sparkling knock from Shikhar Dhawan helped India get over the early blow of losing skipper Rohit Sharma and beat West Indies by six wickets in the third Twenty20 International in Chennai on Sunday to complete a 3-0 sweep of the series.
Playing for pride after losing the first two matches, West Indies skipper Carlos Brathwaite chose to bat and the tourists managed 181 for three in their 20 overs, aided by Nicholas Pooran's unbeaten 53 and a measured 43 not out from Darren Bravo.
India's chase suffered an early setback when Sharma, who struck an unbeaten 111 in Lucknow last week, was dismissed for four runs after mistiming Keemo Paul's slower ball and sending it straight down the throat of Brathwaite at mid-off.
That was the cue for Dhawan to take centre stage.
The left-hander's classy 92 off 62 balls guided India to the brink of victory, and he was helped by powerful hitting from Rishab Pant, whose 58-run knock was part of the 130-run partnership that formed the backbone of the Indian chase.
Pant was clean bowled by a yorker from Paul in the 19th over, the West Indian uprooting the left-hander's middle stump after he tried a reverse hit.
Despite needing five runs from the final over and having a settled batsman at the crease, India still managed to set up a dramatic finale.
With two balls left and one run needed, Dhawan clubbed Fabian Allen's delivery straight to Kieron Pollard at long-on, bringing an end to his highest T20 international innings.
It was left to Manish Pandey to strike the winning run off the last ball, which the 29-year-old did with no great conviction.
Allen cramped the batsman with a ball close to the body that Pandey managed to prod back past the bowler, whose despairing dive only managed to push it out of reach of his own fielder running in from mid-wicket, allowing India to seal the win.