Rohit Sharma brought up his fourth T20I century, the most by any batsman in international cricket. Photo: BCCI
Rohit Sharma brought up his fourth T20I century, the most by any batsman in international cricket. Photo: BCCI

An unbeaten 111 along with three catches, one of which was a blinder at first slip, Rohit Sharma had his name written on it all as the Indian captain starred in a crushing 71-run in the second Twenty20 International against West Indies at the newly built Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow on Tuesday. With the win, India have pocketed the three-match series 2-0 with one still to go in Chennai on November 11.

Chasing a massive 196 after Rohit smashed a belligerent 61-ball 111, an innings that was laced with eight boundaries and seven sixes, West Indies’ batting unravelled under scoreboard pressure.

Shai Hope was the first to go for six after poor shot selection saw him getting cleaned up by Khaleel Ahmed in the second over. Shimron Hetmyer (15) followed his opening partner three overs later, with Ahmed picking his second wicket.

Darren Bravo looked dangerous in his 18-ball 23, but failed to capitalise on a big score, after Rohit picked up a screamer at first slip. Bravo threw his weight behind that delivery and managed to slice it hard to Rohit, who managed to track it down for the catch. West Indies were 48/3 when Bravo departed in the eighth over and slumped to 68/5 in 10.4 overs.

Nicohlas Pooran, who replaced the underperforming Rovman Powell, failed to pick up Kuldeep’s wrong ’un and was castled for four. Kieron Pollard caused a little bit of commotion during his dismissal. Pollard found a top edge off Jasprit Bumrah’s delivery and ended up caught and bowled for six, but not before he rammed into Jasprit Bumrah and tried to distract the bowler by raining his arm just when the ball landed in his hand. Bumrah managed to complete the catch nonetheless.

Wickets at regular intervals and a dismal batting show from the West Indies scripted their downfall. Denesh Ramdin was next in line to go courtesy Bhuvneshwar Kumar, but it was Rohit again, who picked up the catch at square leg.

Fabian Allen departed in the 14th over after he was caught ball watching and ended up run out after a fine piece of fielding from Krunal Pandya, who’s direct hit from short cover, saw the back of Allen, who walked back without troubling the scorers.

Keemo Paul, who was striking the ball, added 20 after he was caught at mid-off by Rohit off Bhuvneshwar. Khary Pierre was deceived by Bumrah’s slower one and was caught and bowled for 1 as Windies were stranded on124/9.

For India, Bhuvneshwar was the pick of the bowlers with two for 12, while Bumrah claimed two for 20 in his four overs. Kuldeep was a bit expensive going for two for 32.

Earlier, after being asked to bat, Rohit lit up the Ekana Stadium on Diwali eve in a thunderous batting display.

Rohit, who brought up his fourth T20I century, the most by any batsman in international cricket, had to weather some good fast bowling by the West Indies pacers, Oshane Thomas, who began the innings with a maiden over, and Keemo Paul.

Rohit and his opening partner Shikhar Dhawan were watchful at the start with just 11 runs coming off the first three overs. Rohit broke the shackles in the fourth over when spin was introduced, taking his first boundary off spinner Khary Pierre. Thomas’ next over yielded 17 runs, shifting the momentum in India’s favour.

Dhawan meanwhile, played a good supporting role, as the duo conjured a 123-run partnership for the opening wicket. In the interim, Rohit went past Virat Kohli, rested for the series, to become the highest run-getter in T20Is for India, while Dhawan reached 1000 runs to become the sixth Indian batsman to achieve the milestone.

The opening stand was broken in the 14th over when Nicholas Pooran, playing in place of Rovman Powell for the West Indies in this match, took a good catch in the deep after diving to complete the catch. Dhawan departed for 43-ball 41 to give Fabian Allen his first wicket.

Rishabh Pant didn’t add much to India’s score after departing for just five off Pierre. It took a 62-run partnership for the third wicket between Rohit, who smashed eight boundaries and seven sixes in his 61-ball 111* and KL Rahul (14-ball 26), as the duo were able to notch the mammoth target.

For West Indies, pacer Thomas was the most economical bowler with 1/27 in his four. Fabian Allen picked a wicket in his four over and went for 33 runs.

Brief scores: India 195/2 in 20 overs (Rohit Sharma 111*, Shikhar Dhawan 43) beat West Indies 124/9 (Darren Bravo 23; Bhuvneshwar Kumar 2/12) by 71 runs to clinch three-match series 2-0