Indore: It was absolute carnage at the Holkar stadium in Indore on Friday as India emerged victorious once again and this time, by 88 runs to seal the three-match T20I series 2-0 against Sri Lanka with a game to go.
Rohit Sharma once again grabbed the spotlight with a splendid batting performance as he smacked a scintillating hundred of just 35 balls, equalling the record set by South Africa’s David Miller. Earlier, the record for India’s fastest century in T20Is was held by KL Rahul who had achieved the feat in 46 balls against the West Indies in 2016.
His jaw-dropping 118 of just 43 deliveries completely blew away the Sri Lankans as he registered a magnificent 165-run stand with opening partner Rahul as the duo piled up runs with ease on a batting friendly track. Rohit hit a total of 12 fours and 10 sixes as he ended 2017 with 64 sixes-the most in a calendar year in international cricket. Not much long ago, the right-hander had smashed his third double hundred in ODI cricket and now, with this hundred, he has also become the first player to have scored a century in all the three formats in a single tour.
Rahul, who too continued with his good form from the last game scored 89 runs of just 49 balls and was looking good for a hundred, but his innings was ended by Nuwan Pradeep who had the right-hander caught by wicket-keeper Niroshan Dickwella.
But the momentum India had gained was further capitalised upon by one of the game’s greatest finishers-MS Dhoni who scored 28 runs of 21 balls. Hardik Pandya too chipped in 10 runs as India ended on a massive 260/5.
Sri Lankan skipper Thisara Perera was the pick of the bowlers for his team as he scalped two wickets for 49 runs.
With such a huge total to chase down, the Sri Lankans put up a brave fight as after losing Dickwella early for 25 runs, the experienced Upul Tharanga and aggressive Kushal Perera smashed the Indian bowlers for big hits as the duo registered a crucial 109-run stand. Spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav proved to be costly when these two were in full flow. But this resistance was ended by Chahal when he sent back Tharanga in the 14th over.
Kuldeep then came into the act as he scalped three wickets- Thisara Perera (0), Kusal Perera (77) and Asela Gunaratne (0) in the 14th over to seal the deal for India. From here on, it was a walk in the park as Chahal once again ended up four wickets for 52 runs. He also became the first bowler to take three four-fors in T20Is.
Sri Lanka eventually were dismissed for 172 in 17.2 overs as India gained an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series. Also, an aggregate of 432 runs were scored in the match, which is the seventh highest in T20Is.
Sri Lanka 172 all out (Kusal Perera 77, Upul Tharanga 49; Yuzvendra Chahal 4/52) lost to India 260/5 (Rohit Sharma 118, KL Rahul 89; Thisara Perera 2/49) by 88 runs.