Rohit, Krunal star as India take unassailable lead in T20I series

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04 Aug 2019 | 06:48 PM
authorPTI

Rohit, Krunal star as India take unassailable lead in T20I series

India won the rain-hit game by 22 runs to clinch the three-match series

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India take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match T20 International (T20I) series thanks to a brilliant 51-ball 67 from Rohit Sharma and a vital 3 for 2 for 23 from his Mumbai Indians (MI) teammate Krunal Pandya. India won the match by 22 runs as per DLS method after rain came pouring down when West Indies still needed 70 off 27 deliveries.  Batting first, India scored a challenging 167 for five and had West Indies in all sorts of trouble at 98 for four in the 16th over when lightning and thundershowers struck. West Indies were way behind the DLS par score of 120. 

Batting first, Rohit set India up for a challenging total before Krunal (20 off 13 balls) and Ravindra Jadeja propped up the innings by smashing 20 runs in the final over, which was bowled by Keemo Paul. In the process, Rohit became T20 internationals’ most prolific six-hitter, going past Chris Gayle with 106 maximums. He struck six fours and three sixes in the match. 

Sent into bat, India were off to a quick start as they reached 50-run mark in the seventh over, with Rohit doing the bulk of scoring. Rohit found the gaps with ease, clipping Paul off his pads for a six over deep midwicket. The World Cup highest scorer then swept him for a four as the Indians upped the tempo. Keemo Paul gave West Indies their first breakthrough when he bowled Shikhar Dhawan with the Indian scorecard reading 67 for one in the eighth over. 

Two quiet overs followed as Indian captain Virat Kohli joined Rohit, who broke the shackles with a six over deep midwicket, Sunil Narine being the bowler, and then brought up his 17th half-century in this format with a single to long-off. Nicely getting underneath the flight of left-arm spinner Khary Pierre, Kohli got going with a neat six. Well settled at the other end, Kohli’s deputy Rohit then smashed Carlos Brathwaite for a six and four as India’s hundred came up in the 13th over. 

It took a fine catch from Shimron Hetmyer to bring an end to Rohit’s stay in the middle -- he hit one high up in the air off Oshane Thomas with just over six overs left in the Indian innings. Rishabh Pant (5) perished quickly, top-edging Oshane into the hands of third man fielder Kieron Pollard. 

Sheldon Cottrell then had the big one, sending Kohli’s middle stump cartwheeling for a 23-ball 28 with a perfectly-executed yorker and performing his trademark salute celebrations. By that time tough, Kohli became the highest run scorer among Indians in T20 cricket, including domestic tourneys. In reply, West Indies were off to a disastrous start with both openers Evin Lewis and Sunil Narine back in the hut with just eight runs on the board in the third over. 

Rovman Powell and Nicholas Pooran lifted West Indies from the precarious situation with a 76-run stand for the third wicket before Pandya again got into the act by removing both the batsmen in a space of three balls in the 14th over.

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Rohit SharmaKrunal PandyaIndiaIndia in West Indies

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