Rohit Sharma Stars As India Thrash Sri Lanka To Clinch T20I Series
India's stand-in skipper Rohit Sharma led from the front as he became the joint-quickest to reach a T20I century in 35 balls.
India completed a treble of a series win over Sri Lanka across the three formats after they thumped the visitors by 88 runs in the second T20I at Indore on Friday. India's stand-in skipper Rohit Sharma led from the front as he became the joint-quickest to reach a T20I century in 35 balls. India posted a mammoth 260 runs for the loss of five wickets courtesy a brilliant knock by the Indian skipper. Rohit scored 118 runs off 43 deliveries to reach his milestone. 118 by Rohit is the highest individual score for India in T20Is, surpassing the unbeaten 110 by KL Rahul against Windies in Lauderhill last year. He became the first Indian player and fifth overall to score two centuries in T20Is after Chris Gayle, Brendon McCullum, Ewin Lewis and Colin Munro.
Rahul also scored a brilliant 89 runs aided with some quick-fire 28-run knock by MS Dhoni. The visitors were lacklustre with their bowling. The Lankan captain Thisara Perera used seven bowlers but to no avail as India went on to post their highest T20I total. Angelo Mathews was the sole economical bowler for Sri Lanka but his spell was curtailed due to an injury.
Pandya hit a four and a six in successive deliveries before getting dismissed in the third ball for 10 runs. The 20th over saw India lose two wickets of Shreyas Iyer (0) and Dhoni (28) before Dinesh Karthik took a single off the final ball of the final over.
Chasing 261 runs, Sri Lankan openers Niroshan Dickwella and Upul Tharanga gave a positive start with a few boundaries in the initial overs. It was in the 5th over when Dickwella mistimed Jaydev Unadkat's ball on 25 runs giving a simple catch to Hardik Pandya. Kusal Perera hit three towering sixes in the early overs to give Lankans some momentum in the match.
Kusal hit a fine fifty, his 7th in T20I, off 27 balls. Both Kusal and Tharanga carved a 100-run partnership off 49 balls for the 2nd wicket. Tharanga fell for 47 runs off 29 deliveries in the 14th over. India skipper Rohit heaved a sigh of relief after Yuzvendra Chahal caught Tharanga as the visitors gave the hosts a scare for a few overs. Hardik Pandya pulled a blinder of a catch off Kuldeep Yadav's ball sending Lankan skipper Thisara Perera to the pavilion for a duck. Yadav dismissed danger man Kusal of successive deliveries. He scored a superb 77 runs off 36 balls hitting seven sixes and four boundaries. Kuldeep took three wickets in the 15th over to diminish little Lankan hopes of a fight.
The Indian spin duo of Chahal and Kuldeep wreaked havoc with the ball sharing 7 wickets between them. Chahal finished his spell with figures of 4/52 while Kuldeep took 3 wickets for 52 runs.
India now have an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match T20I series and will play the final match on Sunday at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.