Rohit's fireworks lead India to T20I series win over Windies

India put up a massive 195 for two and restricted Windies to 124 for nine to gain an unassailable 2-0 lead ahead of the third and final match of the series in Chennai.

Rohit's spell-binding fireworks, an unbeaten 61-ball-111, containing eight fours and seven magnificent sixes, enabled him to get his fourth T20 International hundred.   -  AP

India captain Rohit Sharma celebrated Diwali early along with 50,000 Lucknowites at cricket's newest address, which was rechristened Atal Behari Vajpayee Ekana International Cricket Stadium in the morning, in the city on Tuesday.

Rohit's spell-binding fireworks, an unbeaten 61-ball-111, containing eight fours and seven magnificent sixes, enabled him to get his fourth T20 International hundred, the most by any batsman, and guide India to a crushing 71-run victory over Windies.

India put up a massive 195 for two and restricted Windies to 124 for nine to gain an unassailable 2-0 lead ahead of the third and final match of the series in Chennai.

AS IT HAPPENED: Rohit record ton seals T20I series for India

The evening belonged to Rohit, who carried on his fabulous form from the one-dayers, in which he scored two centuries, to surpass Virat Kohli as the leading T20 run-getter of the country early in the innings.

Rohit's sublime touch made up for India's cautious start after West Indies asked the home team to bat first on a lesser known track. The India captain and his opening partner Shikhar Dhawan consumed a few overs in assessing the pitch before loosening their arms.

Considering that Windies' pacer Oshane Thomas started off with a maiden, India closing in on 200 was primarily due to Rohit's blitzkrieg, which contributed almost 57 per cent runs of the host's total.

READ: Rohit surpasses Kohli to become India’s highest run-scorer in T20Is

Rohit, who made batting beautiful with his immaculate timing and placement, picked the ball early and swung his bat to beat the big boundaries for some crisp fours and amazing sixes. Six of his seven sixes came in the 'V,' though predominantly on the leg side. Two consecutive ones, one from a slog sweep and another with a straighter bat, off left-arm spinner Fabian Allen left the whole stadium awe-struck.

Rohit dwarfed Dhawan, who banked on his 'life' on the boundary line on 28 off Carlos Brathwaite to make an impression in his 41-ball 43 (and achieved the milestone of scoring 1,000 runs in T20Is), in a 123-run stand and set India for a big aggregate. The duo ran ones and twos on a huge ground to put pressure on the Windies, whose bowlers became wayward after showing discipline initially.

After the fall of Dhawan, who was caught brilliantly in the deep by Nicholas Pooran off Allen, and Rishabh Pant in quick succession to pull shots, Rohit forged an unbroken 62-run stand with K.L. Rahul (26) as the host collected 66 runs in the last five overs, including 20-plus runs in two.

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Rohit, who was lucky to see his shot brush Allen's fingers on 71, reached his century by scooping Brathwaite to the fine-leg ropes in the final over, which produced 20 runs. He punched in the air to let go his emotions.

The chase was never easy for West Indies, which needed to gather runs quickly. Left-arm pacer Khaleel Ahmed struck in his first and third overs to remove two dangerous batsmen, Shai Hope and Shimron Hetmyer, cheaply and retard the run rate.

Another left-armer, chinaman Kuldeep Yadav, dealt a double blow in his opening over to snare Darren Bravo and Pooran as the tourist stared at defeat at 52 for four after eight overs.

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Kieron Pollard seemed to obstruct Jasprit Bumrah while the latter was completing a caught and bowled chance. It reflected the frustration in the Windies camp originating from another dismal showing.

Rohit held three catches as India recorded another all-round performance to stamp its authority in limited overs cricket.

Brief scores

India: Rohit Sharma (not out) 111 (61b, 8x4, 7x6), Shikhar Dhawan c Pooran b Allen 43(41b, 3x4), Rishabh Pant c Hetmyer b Pierre 5 (6b, 1x4), K.L. Rahul (not out) 26 (14b, 2x4, 1x6), Extras (nb-2, w-8) 10, Total (for two wickets in 20 overs) 195.

Fall of wickets: 1-123 (Dhawan, 13.6), 2-133 (Pant, 15.2).

West Indies bowling: Oshane Thomas 4-1-27-0, Keemo Paul 4-0-30-0, Khary Pierre 4-0-49-1, Carlos Brathwaite 4-0-56-0, Fabian Allen 4-0-33-1.

West Indies: Shai Hope b Ahmed 6 (8b, 1x6), Shimron Hetmyer c Dhawan b Ahmed 15 (14b, 3x4), Darren Bravo c Rohit b Kuldeep 23 (18b, 4x4), Denesh Ramdin c Rohit b Bhuvneshwar 10 (17b), Nicholas Pooran b Kuldeep 4 (3b, 1x4), Kieron Pollard c&b Bumrah 6 (11b, 1x4), Carlos Brathwaite (not out) 15 (19b, 1x6), Fabian Allen (run out) 0 (1b), Keemo Paul c Rohit b Bhuvneshwar 20 (21b, 2x6), Khary Pierre c&b Bumrah 1 (4b), Oshane Thomas (not out) 8 (2x4), Extras (b-4,lb-3, w-9) 16, Total (for nine wickets in 20 overs) 124.

Fall of wickets: 1-7 (Hope, 1.3), 2-33 (Hetmyer, 5.2), 3-48 (Bravo, 7.3), 4-52 (Pooran, 7.6), 5-68 (Pollard, 10.4), 6-81 (Ramdin, 13.4), 7-81 (Allen, 13.5), 8-114 (Paul, 18.4), 9-116 (Pierre, 19.2).

India bowling: Bhuvneshwar Kumar 4-0-12-2, Khaleel Ahmed 4-0-30-2, Jasprit Bumrah 4-0-20-2, Krunal Pandya 4-0-23-0, Kuldep Yadav 4-0-32-2.

Result: India won by 71 runs

Man of the match: Rohit Sharma

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