Rohit Sharma equals fastest T20 century, India sink Sri Lanka to clinch series
Rohit Sharma, India’s stand-in skipper, smashed a 35-ball century and KL Rahul hit his second fifty as the hosts beat Sri Lanka by 88 runs to seal the T20 series with a game to spare.cricket Updated: Dec 22, 2017 23:45 IST
Rohit Sharma piled fresh misery on the Sri Lankan bowlers as he smashed the joint-fastest Twenty20 International century in the second game on Friday, taking India to a record total and an easy win to clinch the series with a game to spare. (HIGHLIGHTS)
The stand-in skipper lashed his century off 35 deliveries in his 118 (43 balls, 12x4, 10x6), having destroyed the visitors’ attack with a double century in the second ODI at Mohali.(SCORECARD)
India raced to 260/5 after being asked to bat first, after looking like they would overhaul the highest T20 total of 263, recorded by Australia against Sri Lanka at Pallekele last year. Sri Lanka promised to make it a close affair only to collapse to 172 all out in 17.2 overs, losing by 88 runs.
KL Rahul scored 89 for his second half-century in a row, after raising an Indian record opening partnership of 165 with Rohit Sharma that floored the opposition. Sri Lanka elected to field probably in the hope of avoiding the dew later in the evening that would make gripping the ball and fielding difficult.
Rohit put on a performance that would be remembered for long by the fans who packed the Holkar Stadium.
Sri Lanka dazzled with their top three for some time before burning out against Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal once again.
After winning the Test and ODI series, India sealed the T20 series as well.
Kusal Perera had pushed the Indian attack on the backfoot, making 77 off 37 balls and adding 109 runs with opener Upul Tharanga (47) for the second wicket. However, Tharanga was dismissed by Chahal.
The hosts went for the jugular through Kuldeep, who picked three wickets in an over to virtually take the game out of Sri Lanka’s hands. From 145/1 at the start of the 14th over, Sri Lanka were reduced to 161/5 in 15 overs.
Rohit made light of losing the toss before the start, and then backed it with a stunning performance. Scoring the fastest T20 century by an Indian, he guided the team to 100 in 8.3 overs. By the time he fell, India were 165/1 in the 13th over.
Rohit was on the money from the start, hitting Angelo Mathews for two fours in the first over. Soon, he got stuck into spinner Akila Dananjaya, getting two fours and a six in his very first over.
There was no stopping him after that as Asela Gunaratne bore the brunt of his onslaught going for 20 runs in an over.
Four sixes came off a Thisara Perera over, taking Rohit to 97. A four through cover off Angelo Mathews the second ball of the 12th over took him to the century.
Rahul went about his job calmly at the other end, scoring 89 (49 balls, 5x4, 8x6). Rahul, 46 off 33 when Rohit was out, took charge, taking 14 runs off Nuwan Pradeep. He and Dhoni then hit six sixes in 14 balls to effectively put the game beyond the visitors.
First Published: Dec 22, 2017 18:59 IST