India have clinched yet another T20I series to their name after beating Windies by 71 runs in the second match in their 3-match T20I series at the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee International Stadium, Lucknow. Windies captain Carlos Brathwaite won the toss and decided to field first. India named an unchanged playing XI from their last match while Windies brought in Nicholas Pooran in place of Rovman Powell.
Indian openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan started the innings slowly as there was a little bit of help for the bowlers from the pitch in the initial overs. But once both of them found their feet at the crease, they started to take on the Windies bowling. Rohit smashed back to back sixes to Oshane Thomas and Khary Pierre in consecutive overs. They brought up their fifty-run partnership in the seventh over.
Rohit was brutal with the bat as he reached to his half-century. Dhawan at the other hand rotated the strike and found boundaries at regular intervals. The 123 runs partnership was broken by Fabian Allen when he picked up Shikhar Dhawan for 43. Rishabh Pant had a miserable outing once again as he was dismissed by Pierre for 5 runs. KL Rahul was aggressive from the very first ball and looked to up the scoring rate. Rohit Sharma switched gears as the right-handed batsman smashed sixes at will. 3 fours and a six in the last over helped Rohit to reach to his 4th T20I century as India closed down the innings with 195 runs.
Shai Hope started the Windies innings with great fashion. He smashed a six on the fourth delivery in the first over of Bhuvneshwar Kumar. But Khaleel Ahmed sent him back to the pavilion in the second over after the left-arm fast bowler cleaned up Hope’s stumps. Darren Bravo struck a couple of beautiful boundaries to get the tempo back for the visitors. But Shimron Hetmyer looked out of colours and he was eventually dismissed by Khaleel.
Bravo was the next to be dismissed. This time it was Kuldeep Yadav who joined the party. Windies chase hit another setback when Nicholas Pooran was cleaned up by Kuldeep and they were reduced to 52-4 in the 8th over. The hosts piled up even more pressure on Windies when they picked up three quick wickets in the form of Kieron Pollard, Dinesh Ramdin and Fabian Allen. At this stage, the scorecard read 81-7 in the 14th over. Keemo Paul and Carlos Brathwaite struck 3 sixes of Kuldeep’s Final year to help Windies go past the 100 runs mark. Only one more wicket fell in the batting innings as the visitors were restricted to 124 runs in 20 overs for the loss of 9 wickets.
This is the 7th consecutive T20I series victory for Team India and 8th T20I loss for the Windies in 2018. Rohit Sharma became the first player to score 4 centuries in T20I cricket. The third and the final match of the series is at Chennai on 11th of this month.
India: 195-2(20 o.)
Rohit Sharma: 111*(61)
Shikhar Dhawan: 43(41)
Fabian Allen: 4-0-33-1.
Windies: 124-9(20 o.)
DM Bravo: 23(18)
Keemo Paul: 20(21)
Bhuvneshwar Kumar: 4-0-12-2
Man of The Match: Rohit Sharma