India vs England: Rohit Sharma ton guides visitors to T20 series win in Bristol
Rohit Sharma’s superb unbeaten century led India to a seven-wicket win over England in a run-filled third and final T20 international on Sunday to earn the touring side a 2-1 victory in the series.Updated: Jul 09, 2018 11:45 IST
Hindustan Times, Bristol
When Rohit Sharma is at his best, he can eclipse everyone. On a glorious sunny day, in ideal conditions for batting, Rohit was in sublime touch and a packed Bristol crowd had its fill.
Playing with effortless ease, the opening batsman made light of England’s total of 198 for nine with an unbeaten 100 (56 balls, 11 fours, 5 sixes) to help India to a seven-wicket win and clinch the T20 series 2-1.
The short, straight boundaries, the pitch not offering much lateral movement, made it a tough day for the bowlers. England had also capitalized on the conditions well by amassing 198 for nine, but given how strong both the line-ups are, the challenge is you never know how much is good enough.
In the end, the home team were left to rue the late collapse they suffered. At one point were looking good for a 225-plus score but Hardik Pandya applied the brakes by prizing out Alex Hales, Eoin Morgan, Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow to finish with figures of 4-0-38-4.
AT HIS BEST
In the first Twenty20 International, the Mumbai star had been put to shade by KL Rahul’s power hitting. Having contributed just 32 (30 balls) in their partnership of 123, must have been a strange position to be in for Rohit. But, he was his natural self at the County Ground, content to play at his own pace, Rohit blinded everyone with his strokeplay. There were breathtaking shots up to his hundred, the last reminder being a cracking on the rise off-drive off Chris Jordan to move from 95 to 99. He got to his hundred next ball with a single; his third T20I century.
The Bristol curator had dished out such a batting beauty that Rohit’s teammates were left to rue they didn’t capitalize. The visiting batsmen did put on a dazzling show of wrist play and timing.
It was not as much as the runs but the silken skill on show that would have got to the opposition. England had been all power, it was all timing here. In football, it is what Brazil does to the oppositions, kills them softly.
Virat Kohli came in and caressed his second ball to the midwicket fence, with as much as a feather touch. In an entertaining partnership with Rohit, Kohli added 89 runs for the third wicket to take the game away from the home team. When the India captain got out for 43 off 29 balls, India were left to need 48 off 31 balls.
KL Rahul played three great shots, a straight drive for four, two sixes, the second one a nonchalant flick off Plunkett before a brilliant catch by Jordan, running and diving from mid-on towards long-on, ended his promising stint.
England had reached 73 off no loss at the powerplay point, Rohit (39 off 20 balls) ensured India were not far behind, being 70 for two after six overs. But, the Indian bowlers had pulled things back by taking wickets in a heap with Hardik Pandya picking up four.
For England, Chris Jordan and Adil Rashid bowled two good overs, conceding just three and four runs in the 15th and 16th overs, but with three fours off the 17th over, Hardik Pandya and Rohit released the pressure.
The England total was mainly built on their opening partnership of 94 in eight overs, between Jason Roy and Jos Buttler.
First Published: Jul 08, 2018 22:51 IST