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India vs West Indies, 2nd T20I: Rohit, bowlers shine as hosts clinch series

India vs West Indies, 2nd T20 International: Having scored two centuries in ODI series, which India won by 3-1, Rohit continued his assault with the bat, smashing an unbeaten 111 off 61 balls (7x4, 8x6).

cricket Updated: Nov 07, 2018 08:51 IST
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
India vs West Indies,India vs West Indies 2018,Rohit Sharma
West Indies cricketer Darren Bravo (L) walks to the pavillon as Indian cricket captain Rohit Sharma (2R) celebrates his wicket during the second T20 cricket match between India and West Indies at the Bharat Ratna Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow.(AFP)

India skipper Rohit Sharma smashed a world record fourth T20I century as the hosts ushered in Diwali a day early, crushing West Indies by 71 runs in the second Twenty20 on Tuesday, taking an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series at the Atal Bihari Vajpayee International Cricket Stadium here.

In sensational form in white-ball cricket, Rohit also surpassed the rested Virat Kohli as India’s highest run-scorer in T20s, electing to bat and carrying India to 195/2. West Indies never looked like mounting a chase, sliding to finish at 124/9.

Having scored two centuries in ODI series, which India won by 3-1, Rohit continued his assault with the bat, smashing an unbeaten 111 off 61 balls (7x4, 8x6). It made the day for the 50,000-odd fans who packed the stadium for Lucknow’s first international tie after 24 years.

Also Read: India vs West Indies, 2nd T20I Lucknow, Highlights: As It Happened

Rohit and fellow opener Shikhar Dhawan tore into the Caribbean bowlers, hitting fours and sixes at will all around the boundary, which was stretched to 85 yards in some areas. It more than made up for their rare failure in the first T20 at Kolkata, which India won by five wickets.

Rohit surpassed New Zealand’s Colin Munro, who has three T20 centuries, finishing off in style as 20 runs came off the final over by skipper Carlos Brathwaite. Rohit took his T20 tally to 2,203 runs, to move ahead of Kohli’s aggregate (2,102).

Rookie left-arm pacer Khaleel Ahmed dealt the early blows, uprooting Shai Hope’s (6) middle-stump in the second over before forcing opener Shimron Hetmyer (15) to hit to Shikhar Dhawan at deep mid-on.

Darren Bravo made an 18-ball 23 before chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav got him to edge a quicker one and Rohit Sharma snapped up a sharp catch at slip, in the eight over. Kuldeep also removed Nicholas Pooran soon and it was almost over for Brathwaite and Co.

West Indies, struggling to put up a fight on this tour, flickered to life late as their batsmen hit three sixes in Kuldeep’s last over, two of them by Keemo Paul. Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and Jaspreet Bumrah also took two wickets each.

Also Read: Rohit Sharma becomes first player to hit 4 T20 international centuries

Rohit played out a maiden first up as Oshane Thomas mesmerized him with pace and bounce. But he got going by smashing his first boundary off spinner Khary Pierre in the fourth over, and hit a six in the next over, before Dhawan smashed two fours off Thomas’s third over, which yielded 16 runs.

Their 123-run partnership in 84 balls made them the most prolific opening pair (1268 runs, 39 innings) in T20s. The stand ended when Dhawan (43 – 41b, 3x4) was caught by Nicholas Pooran, playing a slog-sweep off Fabian Allen.

India’s batting performance, after Rohit elected to bat, confounded predictions of a low-scoring pitch. Dhawan got an early life when Keemo Paul dropped an easy catch at deep midwicket off Braithwaite and he paid the Windies pay in tandem with Rohit.

Also Read: Rohit Sharma breaks multiple records, surpasses Virat Kohli

India’s scoring always threatened to stay close to 10-an-over though Rishabh Pant (5) fell cheaply for the second time in the series. KL Rahul (26 – 14b, 2x4, 1x6), who was next in, joined Rohit and raised 62 runs for the unbroken third wicket off 28 balls.

Both teams made a change each from the previous game. West Indies left out all-rounder Rovman Powell for batsman Nicholas Pooran, while India brought the fit-again Bhuvneshwar Kumar back, replacing Umesh Yadav.

The final T20 will be played in Chennai on Sunday.

First Published: Nov 06, 2018 22:58 IST