Belligerent Rohit singes Windies; India seal series

Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh): India sealed series win after handing a crushing 71-run defeat to West Indies in the second T20I match of the three-match series, at the debuting Bharat Ratna Atal Bihari Vajpayee Stadium in Lucknow, on Tuesday.

Skipper Rohit Sharma, leading from the front scored a belligerent century, smashing several records in the process propelling the Indian side to post 195. The Carribean batting-order faltered yet again as they never looked close to surmount the massive total set by India. With the win, India took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series.

Carlos Braithwaite’s decision to bowl was expected, considering unknown pitch, expected dew and batting failure in the previous match.

Opener Shai Hope and Shemron Hetmyer took the centre stage eyeing the massive mountain of runs. Hope even blasted Bhuwaneshwar for a six in the very first over. In the second over, Hope’s (6 off 8) stumps were sent rolling by speedster Khaleel Ahmed. Hope went for a slog and unable to read the lack of pace in pitch mistimed the shot.
Thereafter, Darren Bravo stepped in next. The duo had just taken the stock of the conditions when Khaleel sent Hetmyer packing for 15. He lobbed one with sheer muscle to Shikhar Dhawan at long-on in sixth over. After Khaleel’s opening jolts, wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav ran through the ranks of the Carribean batting line-up. In the eighth over, he sent Bravo (23) and Nicholas Pooran (4), also drying-up the run flow.

All hopes were pinned on Keiron Pollard (6) but in pursuit of some quick runs, he handed a simple catch to Jaspreet Bumrah on follow-through in 11th over dashing all hopes of staging a comeback.

West Indies were left reeling at 68 with half the side back in the pavilion.

West Indies never looked in the game after that. Requiring 117 runs off last 6 overs, Dinesh Ramdin, last batsman before the tail and Fabian Allen, also walked off leaving Windies at 81/7. A late flurry from Keemo Paul and Brathwaite took them to 124 but they lost two more wickets.

Earlier, Indian opening pair of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan started the proceedings with a maiden over. Speedsters Oshane Thomas and Keemo Paul were making them work for their runs as even after three overs they had not hit any boundary.

But, Rohit stepped on the accelerator and scored his fourth T20 international century – the highest by anybody. Rohit cleared the massive boundaries almost effortlessly.

West Indies made the situation worse, dropping two catches, bowling two no-balls, seven wides and conceding overthrows.

Dhawan played second-fiddle with a patchy 43-run innings. Pant struggled yet again giving his wicket for a sloppy shot on 5. In the end, KL Rahul (26 runs) joined forces with Rohit to post 195 in 20 overs.