Suryakumar Yadav smashed 83 off 44 balls as India beat West Indies by seven wickets in the third T20 International in Guyana on Tuesday to keep the series alive.

After India lost T20 debutant Yashasvi Jaiswal and Shubman Gill cheaply in pursuit of 160, Suryakumar took charge in a dazzling innings comprising 10 fours and four sixes.

He eventually fell clipping an Alzarri Joseph full toss to deep backward square leg, but Tilak Varma finished unbeaten on 49 and captain Hardik Pandya hit the winning six with 13 balls to spare.

“It was really important to be myself in the powerplay,” Yadav said.

“The team wanted me to bat as much as possible. I practised these [scoops] strokes a lot. I have loved to do that. I just like to express myself.”

West Indies skipper Rovman Powell had earlier dragged his side to 159-5 with a quick-fire 40 not out after winning the toss in Providence and choosing to bat.

Brandon King made a run-a-ball 42 while fellow opener Kyle Mayers (25) and Nicholas Pooran (20) also made decent contributions for the hosts.

Left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav, recalled in place of Ravi Bishnoi, claimed 3-28 to lead the Indian bowling attack. Axar Patel and Mukesh Kumar picked up a wicket apiece.

“We were 10-15 runs short,” said Powell. “It was a pretty good wicket. The start we got [with the bat], was something we asked for. We lost our way in the middle.”

India cut West Indies’ lead to 2-1 in the five-match series after they lost the opener by four runs followed by Sunday’s dramatic two-wicket defeat.

“We had to back ourselves. Two losses or two wins do not change things. We have a long-term plan and it was important we showed our character,” said Pandya.

West Indies are aiming to win their first series of two or more matches against India in any format since 2016.

India won the preceding two-Test series 1-0 before beating the West Indies 2-1 in the ODIs.