CHENNAI, India – Captain Carlos Brathwaite yesterday refused to be drawn into speculation over what could have been, after West Indies lost the third Twenty20 International in a dramatic last-ball finish.
With scores tied on 181 at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, Manish Pandey (4 not out) and Dinesh Karthik (0 not out) scrambled a single off the final delivery of the contest, to seal a six-wicket win for India and a 3-0 series clean sweep.
“You can’t look back at it [and think] if one of the fours had gone for one, we would have won by three runs,” Brathwaite said afterwards.
“So you can’t look at every single ball and think ‘this one decision or that one decision’ cost us the game. I think you have to give credit to Shikhar (Dhawan) and Rishabh (Pant) who played very, very well and also give credit to my group of guys who started well with the ball.
“[With] the partnership [between Dhawan and Pant] it seemed as if the game was kind of taken away from us and we stuck in, we kept our belief and we played valiantly to the end.
“It was a good game of cricket and we don’t want to ruin the spectacle and entertainment … by niggling at a one call here and a one call there.”
West Indies gathered 181 for three off their 20 overs behind Nicholas Pooran’s unbeaten 53 and Darren Bravo’s 43 not out – the pair adding 87 in an unbroken fourth wicket stand.
In reply, India were stumbling at 45 for two in the sixth before Dhawan punched a career-best 92 and Pant, 58, in a 130-run partnership for the third wicket, which laid the foundation for victory.
However, the game was still close with five required from the final over bowled by left-arm spinner Fabian Allen, but West Indies just found themselves outplayed in the end.
Brathwaite said although the team had been unable to deliver a win for the Caribbean fans, he felt as though the fight displayed in the performance counted for something.
“We said we wanted to leave them with a smile on their faces,” said the all-rounder.
“Obviously we didn’t get the result we wanted but the effort and the fight and the dedication and the belief that we showed down to the last ball, after the position that the partnership with Shikhar and Rishabh, put [India] in, I think will put a smile on their faces.
“Eventually we want to be turning those into the wins but for now we’re happy with the effort and the belief.”
He continued: “We had good, solid performances with the bat. Obviously Nicholas will get the plaudits because he raised his bat but I think credit must go to the opening pair (Shai Hope and Shimron Hetmyer) as well who set us up with 50 in the first six overs, so we had a lot of positives today with the bat and it is about replicating it game in, game out.”