India took a winning 2-0 lead in the T20 series against the West Indies by securing a 22-run triumph via DLS method in Florida on Sunday.
India batted first and put up 167-5, thanks mainly to a fine 67 from opener Rohit Sharma, an innings that included a world-record breaking three sixes that took his overall tally to 107 maximums – most in the format.
The Windies showed fight in the chase, with Rovman Powell smashing 54 off 34 but two quick wickets saw the hosts get stuck at 98-4, well behind the par score of 120 when rain intervened.
However, the match was all about Rohit as he broke the record for the most sixes in the T20 Internationals during his daring innings of 67 off 51 balls.
The opener hit six fours and three maximums during his innings that held the Indian effort together on a surface that wasn’t too dissimilar to the sluggish pitch offered on Saturday. Rohit’s tally of 107 maximums is now more than that of Chris Gayle (105) and Martin Guptill (103).
On a day when most batsman struggled for timing and placement, Rohit overcame the inconsistent bounce and movement off the surface by playing straight. Three of his boundaries and all of his sixes came between long off and mid-wicket.
Fellow opener Shikhar Dhawan looked in decent touch before another ugly hoick saw him lose his stumps. Skipper Virat Kohli tried to hold the innings together after Rohit departed in the 14th over and Rishabh Pant soon after.
But a near perfect in-swinging yorker from Sheldon Cottrell uprooted the middle stump of Kohli as India’s innings went from 111-1 in 13 overs to 135-4 after 17.
It was only in the final over of the Indian innings that they got a move on as Krunal Pandya hit Keemo Paul for successive sixes before Ravindra Jadeja hit the third maximum of the over through mid-wicket.
The chase started poorly for West Indies, with Evin Lewis falling to Bhuvneshwar Kumar early again and new opener Sunil Narine losing his woodwork to Washington Sundar.
Nicholas Pooran and Powell then went about rebuilding the innings. The pitch proved an impediment throughout, with inside and outside edges found almost every second ball. But the two tried to maintain the run rate by adding 76 runs for the third wicket. Powell hit 54 off 34 before he fell lbw to Krunal while Pooran was caught at the boundary ropes.
The Windies were 98-4 in 15.3 overs when the players went off the field due to lightning in the area, which was followed by rain that didn’t cease and forced an end to the proceedings. Pandya had a fine all-round day – hitting 20 off 13 and picking up 2-23.
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