After Chennai and Vizag, it was now turn for Cuttack to witness the ultimate rivalry between the Men in Blue and the Men in Maroon. The final match of the 3-game ODI series was played on December 22 at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack, Odisha. The game started with the hosts winning the toss and opting to field first.
West Indies opener Evin Lewis and Shai Hope didn’t have a long-lasting stay at the crease, as they were made to walk back to the pavilion scoring just 21 and 42 runs, respectively. The visitors started slow, as their star player for previous matches, Shimron Hetmyer too failed to create a mark today. Hetmyer played a knock of 37 runs off 33 balls before he was caught by Kuldeep Yadav off a ball by Navdeep Saini.
The Indian team that was quite slow in the first match of the ODI series, courtesy to the destructive fielding by the team members, jumped back with the bang during the second match and continued with their mesmerizing performance in the third ODI too. The hosts managed to restrict some of the big names of the West Indies team to scores lower than 50. Putting up a target of even 250 runs on the board looked difficult for the visitors as the Indian bowlers tried their best to restrict runs. However, brilliant innings from Nicholas Pooran and Kieron Pollard helped the Caribbean Giants put up a mammoth total of 315 onboard. Scoring 89 and 74 runs, both Pooran and Pollard, escorted the team to a total that looked defendable to them. Trying hard to turn-tables in their favour, the visitors pulled-off 118 runs in the last 10 overs of their share of 50 overs, giving a tough competition to the mighty team India.
Putting up a big total on-board, and fantastic bowling action from the team members, the Caribbean giants tried their hands on everything to bag the game, but destiny had something else in store.
Talking about team India’s innings, openers Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul once again gave a scintillating start to team India, scoring 63 off 63 balls and 77 off 89 balls, respectively. Jason Holder picked a crucial wicket in the form of Rohit Sharma during the 21 over. Shreyas Iyer couldn’t recreate his magic today, as the player was made to walk back to the pavilion at a mere tally of 7 runs off 7 balls.
Skipper Virat Kohli continued the legacy with his heroic knock of 85 runs off 81 balls. Victory looked quite clear for team India hitting boundaries every couple of overs. Virat’s wicket in the 46th over made the situation critical for team India and winning looked quite difficult
But Shardul Thakur who came at the 7th place played a crucial knock of runs hitting 2 boundaries and a six which were much needed for the team to get back in the game. Team India finally registered a comprehensive victory with 4 wickets in hand and 8 balls to spare, grabbing the series 2-1.
With this series capture, India achieved their successive 10th bilateral series win against West Indies. Virat Kohli was presented "Man of the Match" award, whereas Rohit Sharma was adjudged as the "Man of the Series."