Nicholas Pooran responded aptly to Hardik Pandya, both during the match and later on Instagram. In the contest between Hardik Pandya and Nicholas Pooran, it was the West Indies batter who had the final triumph.
His team convincingly defeated India by eight wickets in the fifth and final T20I at Lauderhill, Florida, securing a 3-2 series victory. Pooran scored an impressive 184 runs and was named the Player of the Series. West Indies successfully chased down 166 runs, marking their first bilateral series win against India in 17 years. India struggled to counter Pooran’s onslaught, succumbing to scores of 41, 67, 20, 1, and 47.
This loss could be attributed to India fielding a youthful squad against a team that didn’t qualify for the past two World Cups. Right after the match, thoughts inevitably turned to the third T20I when, in the post-match presentation, Hardik Pandya, the captain on the losing side, issued a challenge to Pooran. He was curious to see if the former West Indies captain would accept his challenge.
“Nicky (Pooran) didn’t come out to bat and that allowed us to keep our pacers back, also allowed Axar to bowl his four overs. If Nicky wants to hit, let him hit me and that was the plan, I enjoy such competition. I know he is going to hear this and will come hard at me in the fourth T20I,” he had said.
Although not during Saturday’s match, Pooran delivered a fitting response to Hardik’s challenge. He did so both on the field and later on Instagram. During the third over of the West Indies’ chase, Pooran executed perfect revenge by hitting consecutive sixes off Hardik.
He posted a screenshot of this on his Instagram story. Hardik’s deliveries were poorly placed, allowing Pooran to hit one over long on and the next over midwicket. This marked Pooran’s third six in just four balls.
The reason Pooran didn’t receive his award
Pooran hit his fourth six, nearing a half-century, but aiming to increase the pace, he was dismissed by Tilak Varma, granting him his maiden Indian wicket.
Pooran had to rush to catch a flight after the match, so Player of the Match Brandon King received his award. King’s unbeaten 85 off 55 balls was the fourth highest score in a successful T20I chase against India.