India Beat Windies Again, Romp Home to Series Win
Rohit Sharma His a Record-Breaking Fourth Century

Records tumbled galore as India thrashed the West Indies by 71 runs in the second of their three T20 internationals in Lucknow.

Both sides reflected one change apiece going into the match, with India bringing in Bhuveshwar Kumar for Umesh Yadav, and the West Indies replacing Rovman Powell with Nicholas Pooran.

West Indies won the toss and decided to field first, a decision they quickly came to rue as they found the opposing captain Rohit Sharma in devastating form.

Together with his opening partner Shikhar Dhawan, he put on 123 off the first 14 overs, with the pair scoring at nearly nine runs at over. The stand was finally ended when Dhawan, who was very much the junior partner in the stand, was caught by Pooran at backward square leg off the bowling of Fabian Allen for 43, an innings which saw him become the sixth Indian batsman to reach a thousand T20 runs.

Meanwhile the stand saw Dhawan and Sharma become the highest scoring pair in this form of the game.

However, the records did not stop there. After Risbabh Pant was dismissed cheaply for 5, caught by Shimron Hetmyer off the bowling of Khary Pierre, Sharma went on to complete his century, his 4th in T20Is, and a record, lifting him clear of Colin Munro of New Zealand. He also passed Virat Kohli to become the top scorer for India in T20 Internationals, and, to cap a memorable day for him, he also moved second on the all-time list of run scorers for the shortest form of the game.

He was undefeated on 111, having struck no fewer than seven sixes and eight fours, and helped his side reach 195/2. KL Rahul was unbeaten on 26, largely forgotten amidst all the celebrations at the other end.

To have any hope, West Indies needed a good start, but lost Shai Hope in the first over, bowled by Khaleel Ahmed for 6.

Hetmyer has been one of the bright sparks of the tour for the West Indies, but, this time, he made little impression, and was caught by Dhawan on the fence for 15. Then Kuldeep Yadav was introduced into the attack and the leg spinner soon claimed two victims, Darren Bravo caught at slip by Rohit for 23, and Pooran bowled for 4.

Next to fall was Kieron Pollard, caught and bowled by Jasprit Bumrah for 6, as the visitors began to crumble. Worse then followed in the 14th over, as two more wickets fell in successive balls, Denesh Ramdin hitting Kumar to square leg for 10, and then Allen run out of the very next ball.

Carlos Braithwaite and Keemo Paul at least steered their side into three figures, but Paul, having struck 2 sixes, was caught by man of the moment Sharma off the bowling of Kumar for 20. Pierre was the last man to fall, caught and bowled Bumrah for 1, as the West Indies staggered to 124 – 9, with Braithwaite undefeated on 15.

The adjudicators had the easiest imaginable decision to making in naming Sharma man of the match.

Rajeev mcallister
Sports Pundit staff writer

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