Rohit ton leads India to series win


Rohit Sharma smashed his fourth T20I ton, a record, as India recorded a 71-run win over Windies, sealing the series in the process.

The opener finished unbeaten on 111 having laid the platform and then accelerated at the death, helping India to put up a strong total of 195/2.

He and Shikhar Dhawan took the time to play themselves in. Rohit played a maiden out off the rapid Oshane Thomas to start the contest, while Dhawan was circumspect throughout, scoring at just over a run a ball before being dismissed for 43, slog sweeping Fabian Allen only to be caught by a diving Nicholas Pooran on the boundary.

Dhawan and Rohit shared a century stand

He and Rohit had added 123 in 14 overs, and the promotion of the big-hitting Rishabh Pant to No.3 signalled a change of intent. It wasn’t to be his day – he scored just 5 off 6 – but KL Rahul, who made 26 off 14, and Rohit gave the innings the ending it required.

The charge had already had a couple of false starts. India plundered 17 off the fifth over, Thomas’ third after the first two had gone for just four runs, but then consolidated as the Powerplay ended.

Oshane Thomas bowled a maiden first up

The openers began the ninth over, bowled by Carlos Brathwaite, identically placed on 28 off 25, but after Dhawan was dropped off the first ball by Keemo Paul, who could only parry the ball into the boundary, Rohit pulled away, striking a six and a four as the over cost 16.

The 14th over began with consecutive Rohit sixes before Allen struck, and even with three overs to go, it didn’t look certain that Rohit would make his hundred, needing 20 to do so. A six and a four off Khary Pierre saw him move into the nineties, and he brought up the milestone with consecutive fours in the 20th. Not content, an all-run four followed, before a mighty six dragged India into the 190s.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar impressed on his return

It looked a tall order, especially for a Windies side shorn of their most destructive batsmen, and they never looked like getting close. Bhuvneshwar Kumar was the pick of the bowlers, claiming 2/12 on his return to the side, but this was a team effort, with Khaleel Ahmed, Jasprit Bumrah, and Kuldeep Yadav all claiming a brace.

For a time there was doubt they’d even pass Rohit’s individual total, but a trio of sixes in the 18th over ensured that embarrassment was avoided. Still, the eventual margin of 71 runs was sizeable as the Windies struggled with the bat for the second game in succession.

The result meant India claimed an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series with a game to play. The final game of what has become a torrid tour for the Windies takes place on Sunday 11 November.