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India clinch series with thumping win
Lucknow, Nov 7: An all-round show guided India to a thumping 71-run victory over West Indies in the second contest of the three-match T20 international series at the newly inaugurated AB Vajpayee Cricket Stadium here on Tuesday.
It was a completely one-sided affair as the hosts dominated the visitors in every department of the game and with the thumping win, India also took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the rubber.
After Rohit Sharma took every West Indian bowler to the cleaners to bring up his fourth T20 ton as India put a mammoth 196-run target before the visitors, the bowlers also rose to the occasion to restrict the opponents to 124/9 in the allotted 20 overs.
Chasing the huge target, the visitors were off to a poor start as openers Shai Hope (6) and Shimron Hetmyer (15) were packed back by Khaleel Ahmed as the West Indies' scorecard read 33/2 in 5.2 overs.
With the addition of another 15 runs in the visitors' score, Kuldeep Yadav struck twice in his first over to dismiss Darren Bravo (23) and Nicholas Pooran (4) in the eighth over.
Pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar also joined the party to pick up the wicket of Denesh Ramdin (10), leaving West Indies reeling at 81/6 in 13.4 overs. A fine throw by Krunal Pandya in the very next ball saw incoming batsman Fabian Allen failing in making his ground as he departed without any contribution.
Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar then scalped one wicket each to dismantle West Indies' lower order before skipper Carlos Brathwaite, who remained unbeaten, and Keemo Paul chipped in with 15 and 20 runs respectively as the visitors somehow managed to reach the three-digit mark.
West Indies could only manage to reach 124 runs losing nine wickets in 20 overs as the visitors lost the T20I series too, with one match to go.
For India, Bhuvneshwar, Bumrah, Khaleel and Kuldeep bagged two wickets each.
Earlier, Rohit became the leading Indian scorer in Twenty20 Internationals (T20I) as he cracked an unbeaten hundred to help the hosts post 195/2.
Rohit remained unbeaten after smashing 111 runs off 61 balls, his innings studded with eight fours and seven sixes as the tourists could not find an answer to the Indian stand-in captain's brilliance after opting to bowl first.
Rohit, who hit counterpart Brathwaite for a four in the third ball of the last over to bring up his fourth T20 ton — the most by any batsman — now has 2108 runs in the shortest format of the game. Regular skipper Virat Kohli is behind him at 2102 runs.
The Indian openers had to weather some good fast bowling by West Indies at the start, but from the moment Rohit broke the shackles with a six off the first ball of spin he faced, he looked unstoppable.
Rohit smashed 20 runs off the last over with Lokesh Rahul (26 not out) for company. Rahul hit two fours and a six to further propel the score.
Shikhar Dhawan (43 off 41; 3×4) also returned to form and joined hands with Rohit for a 123-run opening wicket stand.
For the hapless Windies, Fanian Allen returned best figures of 1/33 as all the bowlers were taken to the cleaners by Rohit.
Pacer Oshane Thomas started proceedings with a maiden, clocking 146 kmph in the last ball of the first over.
Till the fourth over, there was no boundary hit as Keemo and Thomas restricted the hosts to 11/0.
It was only in the fifth over that Rohit and Dhawan changed gears, hitting Thomas for 17 runs to take the score to 49/0 at the end of the powerplay.
There was no stopping the pair from there on as India raced to 83/0 at the halfway stage with both batsmen looking good for big scores.
Rohit was dropped by Khary Pierre when he was batting on 27 with the bowler claiming he had completed the catch but action replays showing the ball bounced before reaching Pierre.
Dhawan was also dropped on 28 by Keemo Paul at the midwicket boundary off Brathwaite.
But just when Dhawan was looking good for a half century, Nicholas Pooran took a fine catch at the long leg boundary off Fabian Allen to get rid of the southpaw.
Pierre got the back of Risabh Pant who was caught on the midwicket boundary by Hetmyer.
Brief scores: India 195/2 in 20 overs (Rohit Sharma 111 not out, Shikhar Dhawan 43; Fabian Allen 1/33) beat West Indies 124/9 in 20 overs (Darren Bravo 23, Keemo Paul 20; Bhuvneshwar Kumar 2/12)