Saturday, March 23, 2019 | ePaper
Sharma's record ton helps India clinch T20 series
AFP, Lucknow :
Skipper Rohit Sharma smashed his fourth Twenty20 international century - the most by any batsman in the format - to set up India's convincing 71-run series-clinching win over West indies on Tuesday.
Sharma hit an unbeaten 111 off 61 deliveries to power the hosts to 192-2 after being put into bat first in the second T20 at Lucknow's newly built cricket stadium.
India then restricted the tourists to 124-9 and take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.
Fast bowlers Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed and Jasprit Bumrah, along with spinner Kuldeep Yadav, took two wickets each.
But the day belonged to Sharma. He put on 123 runs with opening partner Shikhar Dhawan - who made 43 - to pummel the West Indian bowling after paceman Oshane Thomas started with a maiden over.
Sharma, who now has 2,203 runs in 86 matches, became India's highest run-scorer in T20s after surpassing regular captain Virat Kohli (2,102 runs) during his red-hot knock. He is now the second highest scorer in the world behind New Zealand's Martin Guptill, on 2,271 runs. "Whenever you get an opportunity you do your best. Everyone who came out to watch the game will go home with a smile. Glad that we won this game and this series as well," said Sharma, who is leading the side in place of the resting Kohli. "Shikhar's natural instinct is to put pressure on bowlers. We took the time initially and when he gets going it's not easy. I think 120-plus partnership between us was very crucial."