Team India capped off another successful bilateral series with a 88-run victory against an uninspiring West Indies unit in the fifth T20I at the Central Broward Regional Park in Lauderhill, Florida, on Sunday (August 7).
With a commanding triumph, India won the five-match T20I series by a margin of 4-1. They even won the three-match one-day series against the West Indies by 2-1 last month.
While opting to bat first in the first T20I, Shreyas Iyer starred with the bat and made a 40-ball 64. Iyer, along with cameos from Deepak Hooda and Hardik Pandya, took India's first innings total to 188.
Chasing a total of 189, West Indies were skittled out for a paltry 100 runs. Shimron Hetmyer (56 off 35) was a lone warrior for the hosts as they looked listless in their approach and were decimated by the Indian spinners. Axar Patel was named the Player of the Match for his figures of 3-1-15-3 with the ball.
On that note, let's look at the hits and flops from the fifth T20I between West Indies and India
#4 Flop - Rovman Powell (West Indies)
Barring Shimron Hetmyer, no West Indian batter could make an impact on Sunday. All the host batters, including Rovman Powell, led themselves down against the Indian spinners.
Coming at No. 6, the hard-hitting all-rounder struggled during his 13-ball stay. He played seven dot balls before getting trapped in front by Ravi Bishnoi. Powell completely missed out on the googly and sat back, trying to cut it. However, the ball stayed low and struck in front of the wicket, stunting Powell's poor innings on nine.
#3 Hit - Shreyas Iyer (India)
The T20I series against the West Indies was a golden opportunity for Shreyas Iyer to stake his claim in the Indian side. However, things didn't go as planned, as Iyer scored only 34 runs in the first three games before getting dropped for the fourth T20I.
During the fifth encounter, Iyer was handed another chance as players like Rohit Sharma, Suryakumar Yadav and Rishabh Pant opted to rest out. While opening the innings for the very first time for India, the 27-year-old cashed in on the occasion and smashed a well-made 40-ball 64.
Unlike in previous games, the Mumbai lad played his free-flowing strokes and was equally good against both pace and spin. Iyer hit as many as eight boundaries and a couple of sixes to register his 11th T20I fifty. With him accumulating some crucial runs under his belt, Iyer might have helped his cause in getting selected for India's Asia Cup squad.
#2 Flop - Sanju Samson (India)
A player with sublime talent and skills, Sanju Samson didn't have much game time in the series and played just two T20Is in the process. While he was effective with his 30* in the previous game, Samson had a patchy innings in the fifth T20I.
Coming to bat in the 12th over, the right-hander seemed fidgety early on. He took a few balls to get used to the pitch before smashing two good-looking fours. And just as Samson looked to be getting into his groove, he fell to an aberrant dismissal.
The Trivandrum-born dasher made room for himself to run the ball down to third-man against Odean Smith. Samson, however, was beaten for pace and missed the ball altogether. The ball went past his bat and rattled his off-stump.
Samson could only register 15 runs off 11 deliveries. He will now be focused on leaving an impression during India's upcoming tour of Zimbabwe.
#1 Hit - Indian spinners
As mentioned earlier, the West Indies batters had no answers to the questions posed by the Indian spinners. The Indian spin trio of Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav and Ravi Bishnoi ran through the Caribbean batting line-up and gave them a drubbing.
Incumbent Indian skipper Hardik Pandya gave the new ball to Axar Patel, who bowled three overs inside the powerplay. The left-armer didn't disappoint as he picked up the first three scalps while only giving up 15 runs and even bowling a maiden over.
After a few overs of pace, Kuldeep Yadav and Ravi Bishnoi came into the act and put Nicolas Pooran and Co. under their thumb. The leg-break duo bowled in tandem and picked up seven wickets between them.
Only three West Indian batters scored in double-digits as the entire unit was forced to knelt down against the guile and ploys of the Indian tweakers. Axar took three for 15, Kuldeep took three for 12 while Bishnoi scalped four for 16, as it was the first instance of spinners taking all ten wickets in an innings in a T20I game.