Shreyas, Pant steer India to 265 after top-order collapse

Shreyas Iyer’s responsible 80 coupled with Rishabh Pant’s aggressive 56 powered India to a challenging 265 in the inconsequential third ODI against West Indies here on Friday.

Shreyas and the flamboyant Pant resurrected the innings with their 110-run stand after India suffered a top-order collapse to be reeling at 42/3.

The duo toyed with the opposition attack even as the southpaw displayed his hard-hitting prowess, striking six fours and a six. At 119/3 after 25 overs, the stage was set for a big total.

The Mumbaikar, who was playing his first game after COVID recovery, looked in his elements, as he mixed caution and aggression. He completed his ninth ODI fifty with a single to deep extra cover.

After his fifty, Shreyas upped the ante as he and Pant completed their 100-run stand in 112 balls.

Pant too notched up his fifth ODI 50 with a single. But in the 30th over, he perished, giving leggie Hayden Walsh (2/59) his first wicket and Suryakumar Yadav (6) followed suit, as India lost half their side for 164.

But a determined Shreyas played his shots at will before giving a sitter to Darren Bravo at long-off in the 38th over. In his 111-ball knock, he hit nine boundaries.

However, Deepak Chahar (38; 4×4; 2×6) and Washington Sundar (33, 2×4; 1×6) played their parts to perfection and forged 53 runs for seventh wicket. Their knocks propelled India past the 260-run mark.

After opting to bat, India lost opener Rohit Sharma (13) cheaply. Pacer Alzarri Joseph (2/54) pegged the hosts back, by first cleaning up Rohit on the third ball of the fourth over and then dismissed Virat Kohli (0) on the fifth ball to leave the hosts teetering at 16/2.

Kohli tried to flick a delivery that was going down the leg, but edged to Shai Hope in what was a soft dismissal.

Shikhar Dhawan (10) and Shreyas tried to rally the innings but were able to add only 26 runs for the third wicket.

Dhawan became pacer Odean Smith’s (1/36) first victim, as he was caught by Jason Holder in the slip cordon.