LUCKNOW: Hit-man Rohit Sharma lit up the Ekana Stadium on Diwali eve with a cracking unbeaten 111 (61 balls, 8×4, 7×6) as India registered a whopping 71–run win to clinch the T20 series against West Indies on Tuesday.
The victory meant the home side went 2-0 up in the three-match series, having pocketed the opener in Kolkata on Sunday. The final game now comes up in Chennai on Sunday.
After the visitors asked India to bat first, Rohit regaled the huge crowd with some sweetly-timed pulls and drives to power the home side to 195 on a wicket that lacked bounce. In reply, the pressure of runs proved too much for the Caribbean side as they could only manage 124/9.
Making the most of a dropped chance early on by left-arm spinner Fabien Allen off his own bowling, the Indian captain kept the vocal chords of a boisterous crowd busy.
He and Shikhar Dhawan posted 123 runs for opening wicket to provide a perfect platform after West Indies started off promisingly with paceman Oshane Thomas bowling a maiden Dhawan got to a somewhat sedate 43 (41b, 4×3) before being caught by Nicholas Pooran off the bowling of Allen at long-leg, but there was no respite for the visitors thereafter as the Indians pressed on the gas pedal to dictate terms.
Rohit, in particular, was in sublime touch as he came up with his third century against West Indies on the tour. He got an undefeated 152 at Guwahati and 162 in Mumbai in the One-dayers.
This knock also had the stamp of his class, as the Mumbai batsman reached the three-figure mark by clubbing skipper Carlos Braithwaite for a six and a boundary in the final over of the innings. The knock also pushed Sharma past Virat Kohli as the highest T20 run-getter for India.
After Dhawan’s departure, Rishabh Pant too didn’t last long but KL Rahul provided Rohit the requisite support with a busy 26 not out off 14 balls.
In reply, the West Indian top order again disappointed as left-arm pacer Khaleel Ahmed started the rout by sending back the openers – Shai Hope and the dangerous Shimron Hetmyer and then chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav nailed things by removing Darren Bravo and Nicholas Pooran in his first over.
And once Jasprit Bumrah had foxed Pollard with a slower one to have him caught and bowled, it was all over the bar shouting for the tourists. Though Keemo Paul and Carlos Braithwaite got back at Kuldeep by hitting him for three sixes in his last over, it came too late in the match to have any effect.
Both the sides made a change each in their playing XI with India getting in Bhuvneshwar Kumar in place of Umesh Yadav, while Nicholas Pooran came in for Roveman Powell for the visitors. Source : timesofindia