Team India skipper Hardik Pandya was at the receiving end of some impressive big hitting from Nicholas Pooran in the deciding T20I against West Indies in Florida on Sunday.
Chasing 166 for victory, West Indies lost Kyle Mayers for 10 in the second over bowled by Arshdeep Singh. Pooran, however, came in and smashed the last ball of the over for six. Pandya came on to bowl the third over of the innings and the West Indies left-handed took a liking to his bowling, whacking the last two balls for maximums.
The first six was launched over long-on and the second over midwicket. Incidentally, Pandya had made an interesting statement pertaining to Pooran after the third T20I in Guyana, which the Men in Blue won by seven wickets.
Speaking about the in-form West Indian batter wanting to take on his bowling, he commented:
“Yeah, if Nicky wants to hit, let him hit me; that was the plan. I enjoy that kind of competition where I know I cannot err in line or length a lot as it gives the advantage to Nicky. In the fourth game, I hope he comes very hard at me and gives me a wicket as well.”
Pooran fell to Kuldeep Yadav for 1 in the fourth T20I but played a key role in West Indies’ series-winning triumph on Sunday.
He added 107 for the second wicket with Brandon King (85* off 55) and was dismissed for 47 off 35, becoming Tilak Varma’s first international scalp. The southpaw struck one four and four sixes in his impressive knock.
Following the win, Pooran even shared a post related to Pandya’s comments on his Insta story.
“I took my time, was not able to capitalize” – Pandya accepts responsibility for the defeat
Speaking in the post-match presentation, Pandya admitted that he let the team down with the bat and accepted responsibility for the defeat. The all-rounder managed only 14 runs from 18 balls, hitting a solitary six. He fell to Romario Shepherd, attempting a big hit.
“If you see we lost that period post the ten overs. I came there, took my time, and was not able to capitalize. I think the boys played well but I failed to play accordingly at that point in time,” Pandya candidly said.
Reflecting on the series loss, the Indian captain commented:
“All these games are the games where you are going to challenge ourselves. In the hindsight, one series here and there is fine. It is a longer process which I don’t need to explain much. The boys are trying to commit themselves well and I think that is going well.”
India batted first and posted 165/9 in their 20 overs. West Indies chased the target in 18 overs with eight wickets in hand.