by Elton Gomes
An outstanding all-round performance helped India put on a dominating show to defeat the West Indies by 71 runs in the second T20 International at Lucknow on Tuesday. With this win, India registered their seventh series victory and clinched the ongoing three-match T20I series 2-0.
Stand-in skipper Rohit Sharma smashed his fourth T20I century to power India to a dominating 195/2 before the Indian bowlers derailed the Windies’ batting attack by taking wickets at regular intervals.
For the Windies, Darren Bravo was the top scorer with 23 runs off 18 balls. For India, Kuldeep Yadav, Khaleel Ahmed, Jasprit Bumrah, and Bhuvneshwar Kumar took two wickets apiece.
Rohit Sharma earlier produced a master class with the bat as he remained unbeaten on 111 off 61 balls. Sharma along with fellow opener Shikhar Dhawan ripped apart the Windies’ bowling threats, hitting fours and sixes at will. Sharma’s and Dhawan’s made up for their setbacks in the first T20I in Eden Gardens.
Continuing his excellent performance, rookie left-arm pacer Khaleel Ahmed dealt the early blows. Ahmed uprooted 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 Rohit Sharma caught him off a Kuldeep Yadav delivery in the eighth over. Yadav also dismissed Nicholas Pooran soon , which almost marked the end for captain Carlos Brathwaite and his team.
West Indies, struggling to put up a commendable performance on this tour, saw a glimmer of life late as their batsmen hit three sixes in Kuldeep’s last over. Two of the sixes were hit by Keemo Paul.
However, Bumrah ended any hopes of a Windies comeback after he sent his Mumbai Indians teammate Kieron Pollard to the pavilion in the 11th over.
Rohit Sharma becomes highest run scorer in T20s for India
Stand-in captain Rohit Sharma surpassed Virat Kohli to become the highest run scorer for India in T20 Internationals.
Sharma achieved this feat after scoring an unbeaten 111 against the Windies in the second T20I in Lucknow. The top-order batsman overtook Kohli while playing his 86th match in the shortest format of the game. Kohli, who has been rested in the ongoing T20I series, has currently scored 2,102 runs.
In another record, Sharma became the first batsman to score four hundreds in the T20 format in international cricket. Sharma surpassed past New Zealand’s Colin Munro, who has scored three centuries.
Incidentally, Sharma managed to do this in the same match that he had crossed the 2000-run mark and was the fifth batsman in men’s cricket to do so. Sharma put on a brilliant display after having a dismal show in the first T20I.
Elton Gomes is a staff writer at Qrius
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