kohli

Indian Captain Virat Kohli in action during the third T20I match between India and West Indies at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Dec. 11. (Surjeet Yadav/IANS photo)

MUMBAI — India beat West Indies by 67 runs in the third and final Twenty20 Dec. 11 after getting three half-centuries from Lokesh Rahul, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma.

The three batsmen combined for 16 sixes and 19 fours as India notched up 240-3 after being put in to bat.

The result gives India a 2-1 victory in the series.

Rahul top-scored with 91 off 56 balls, while Kohli added 70 not out off only 29 balls. Sharma scored 71 off 34 balls as India notched up their third-highest total in T20 cricket.

“Both Rohit and Virat were in a destructive mood today,” Rahul said. “Our record batting first hasn’t been great, so today was a great opportunity and I am happy that it came off.”

In reply, West Indies could not keep up with the asking rate and were restricted to 173-8. Skipper Kieron Pollard hit 68 off 39 balls after the visitors were reduced to 17-3 in the fourth over.

India won the first T20 in Hyderabad, while West Indies won the second in Thiruvananthapuram.

Kohli was named man of the series for scoring 183 runs in three matches.

“I was in the zone and carried on (from the first two games),” Kohli said. “It was one of the best innings I have played. I just want to contribute across formats and it is about putting my mind into it.”

Sharma and Rahul set a blistering pace as they notched up 50 off 25 deliveries and then 100 in only 48 balls. In total they added 135 runs for the opening wicket off 70 balls before West Indies broke through.

Sharma fell in the 14th over, caught off a skier, and it resulted in a double blow. Rishabh Pant fell for a two-ball duck, caught at long off.

Kohli then came to the crease and didn’t let India lose any momentum. He smacked a 21-ball half-century as India raced to 200 in the 18th over.

It was the first time since 2007 that three Indian batsmen scored half-centuries in the same T20 innings.

Chasing 241, West Indies missed opener Evin Lewis who didn’t bat because of an injury to his right knee.

The Indian pacers provided the optimal start with in-form Lendl Simmons out for 7. Brandon King was out for 5 while big-hitting Nicholas Pooran was dismissed for a first-ball duck.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar (2-41) and Deepak Chahar (2-20) took two wickets apiece, as did Mohammed Shami (2-25), playing in his first T20 since 2016.

Shimron Hetmyer rescued the innings with 41 off 24 balls, while Pollard scored a 33-ball half-century. They put on 74 runs for the fourth wicket.

Kuldeep Yadav dismissed Hetmyer while Kumar had Pollard caught in the deep to end any hopes of a West Indies’ recovery.

The two teams will play a three-match ODI series next, with the first game in Chennai Dec. 15.

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