India’s opening pair of Shubman Gill and Yashasvi Jaiswal made the mockery of a chase of 179 by acing it with immaculate ease and star in thrashing West Indies by nine wickets in the fourth T20I at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium on Saturday.
After Shimron Hetmyer was breezy in his stroke play to slam a 39-ball 61 and take West Indies to a competitive 178/8 in 20 overs, Gill and Jaiswal absolutely bossed the chase to help India level the series at 2-2, with Sunday’s game now a winner-takes-it-all decider.
Though Gill fell for 77 off 47 balls, laced with three fours and five sixes, Jaiswal went on to stay unbeaten on 84 off 51 balls, hitting 11 fours and five sixes, in just his second T20I game as India pulled off the highest successful men’s T20I chase at the venue.
Though the pitch looked to have slowed down during the chase, Gill and Jaiswal combined power and timing to hit sizzling shots and find boundaries easily against a listless West Indies bowling line-up in their mammoth 165-run opening stand.
The association of 165 runs between Gill and Jaiswal is also the joint-highest partnership for the opening wicket for India in men's T20Is, tied with the pair of KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma, who scored their runs against Sri Lanka in December 2017.
Jaiswal was on fire from the word go, pouncing on width from Obed McCoy for a boundary on the first ball and then hammered one past mid-off to end the over with another four. He took the attack to Jason Holder in the third over, smacking three boundaries through the offside.
Gill joined the boundary-hitting party with his signature short-arm jab going for six off McCoy. Jaiswal continued to deal in fours, driving and scooping off Romario Shepherd. On the other hand, Gill smacked sixes down the ground and via a swivel-pull, before ending the power-play by driving Odean Smith through cover-point for four as India signed off with 66 for no loss.
Despite the field restrictions coming in, India’s run rate continued to be healthy as Gill and Jaiswal dealt in boundaries off pacers and spinners, with the opening partnership reaching the century mark.
After recording three single-digit scores in the series, Gill got his fifty in 30 balls while Jaiswal reached his first half-century in T20Is in 33 balls by shuffling across and lapping over backward square leg for four in the 11th over.
The carnage didn’t end as Gill easily flicked Odean Smith for six while Jaiswal reverse-swept Akeal Hosein for a maximum. Jaiswal was more aggressive of the duo, tonking Smith over cow-corner for six before getting a thick edge off McCoy for four and hammering him over long-on for another maximum.
Gill again brought the short-arm jab to hit Shepherd for a six, before miscuing a flick to deep mid-wicket, as West Indies broke the 165-run opening partnership.
But it was too little, too late for West Indies as Jaiswal slashed for four more. Tilak Varma fetched four runs via flick before two wides ensured India completed the chase with three overs to spare.
West Indies 178/8 in 20 overs (Shimron Hetmyer 61, Shai Hope 45; Arshdeep Singh 3-38, Kuldeep Yadav 2-26) lost to India 179/1 in 17 overs (Yashasvi Jaiswal 84 not out, Shubman Gill 77; Romario Shepherd 1-35) by nine wickets.