Diwali comes early for India as Rohit Sharma and Co clinch 71-run win against West Indies

Nov 07, 2018, 07:32 IST | Santosh Suri

Rohit Sharma lights up Lucknow on festival eve as he becomes the first player to score four centuries in T20Is en route India's series win over West Indies

Diwali comes early for India as Rohit Sharma and Co clinch 71-run win against West Indies
India skipper Rohit Sharma leaps with joy after reaching his century while WI skipper Carlos Brathwaite looks on in Lucknow yesterday. Pic/AFP

When Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan are in top flight there is little the opposition can do but admire and hope that they can replicate it when it's their turn to bat. But rarely does it happen, and surely not when this West Indies team are involved.

Fireworks
It was fireworks on Diwali eve at the newly-named AB Vajpayee stadium, as Rohit hammered his fourth T20I century and along with Dhawan (43), put on 123 for the opening wicket in just 14 overs to set the foundation for a big total. Once Dhawan left, it was Rohit all the way, as he reached his century in just 58 balls and remained unbeaten on 111 from 61 deliveries with six sixes and eight boundaries. Once India had posted 195 for two in their 20 overs, the pressure was entirely on the West Indies batsmen. And not for the first time, they failed to live up to the task. They were restricted to a mere 124 for nine, giving Rohit his 10th win in 11 T20I games as skipper.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar took 2-12
Bhuvneshwar Kumar took 2-12

With the 71-run win, India clinched the three-match T20I series with a match on Sunday at Chennai to spare, after having pocketed the Test as well as ODI series. It was indeed a joyous occasion for the Lucknowites, who were witnessing an international fixture after 24 years. There was a bit of apprehension about the pitch at the latest international venue, the 52nd in the country, when India were asked to bat first. Oshane Thomas's first over was a maiden and that was the only thing that went right for the West Indies. Once Rohit and Dhawan got going there was no stopping them, and their cause was helped by some sloppy fielding, as both were reprieved early in the innings.

Wickets fell like nine pins as hapless WI batsmen made a desperate bid to match India's might. But with Indian bowlers, led by chinaman Kuldeep Yadav and Khaleel Ahmed, keeping it tight, they could barely cross the 100-mark in their 20 overs in another lopsided affair.

Next-up, Chennai
The India team now disperse for Diwali and will assemble in Chennai on Saturday, to wrap up the series with the last game on Sunday. West Indies, in the meantime, travel to Chennai and brood what went wrong for them on this tour.

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