MUMBAI: Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and skipper Virat Kohli combined to hit 16 sixes as India beat the West Indies by 67 runs in the third and deciding T20 International on Wednesday.
After India posted an imposing 240-3, the West Indies’ chase petered out for 173-8 as India took the series 2-1.
Sharma (71) and Rahul (91) put on 135 runs for the opening wicket to lay the platform for India’s imposing total in Mumbai after the hosts were put into bat first.
Kohli soon joined the party to flay the West Indies attack as he completed his fifty in 21 deliveries and finished on an unbeaten 70 with four fours and seven sixes.
“Hitman” Sharma led the onslaught with an attacking fifty that was brought about with two sixes and a boundary to raise the roof.
Sharma became the first Indian batsman to hit over 400 international sixes with his first of five strikes over the fence. West Indies’ Chris Gayle leads the sixes show with 534 across all three formats.
He finally fell while attempting another big heave to be caught by Hayden Walsh Jr off paceman Kesrick Williams.
Four balls later, skipper Kieron Pollard got wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant trudging back to the pavilion for nought to check India’s surge but Rahul remained firm.
Rahul, who completed his third fifty in the last four T20 innings and hit four sixes in his 56-ball knock, then put on 95 runs with Kohli before getting out in the last over.
In the chase, West Indies captain Kieron Pollard (68 off 39 balls) and Shimron Hetmyer (41 off 24 balls) managed some lusty blows but failed to take their team across the line.
The two teams will now play three one-day internationals on December 15 (Chennai), December 18 (Visakhapatnam) and December 22 (Cuttack).
R. Sharma c Walsh Jr b Williams 71
K.L. Rahul c Pooran b Cottrell 91
R. Pant c Holder b Pollard 0
V. Kohli not out 70
S. Iyer not out 0
EXTRAS (B-1, LB-2, W-4, NB-1) 8
TOTAL (for 3 wkts, 20 overs) 240
DID NOT BAT: S. Dube, W. Sundar,
D. Chahar, B. Kumar, K. Yadav, M. Shami.
FALL OF WKTS: 1-135, 2-138, 3-233.
BOWLING: Cottrell 4-0-40-1 (w1), Holder
4-0-54-0 (w1), Pierre 2-0-35-0 (w1), Williams 4-0-37-1, Walsh Jr 4-0-38-0, Pollard 2-0-33-1 (w1, nb1).
L. Simmons c Iyer b Shami 7
B. King c Rahul b Kumar 5
S. Hetmyer c Rahul b Yadav 41
N. Pooran c Dube b Chahar 0
K. Pollard c sub (R. Jadeja) b Kumar 68
J. Holder c sub (M. Pandey) b Yadav 8
H. Walsh Jr b Shami 11
K. Pierre c sub (R. Jadeja) b Chahar 6
K. Williams not out 13
S. Cottrell not out 4
EXTRAS (LB-5, W-5) 10
TOTAL (for 8 wkts 20 overs) 173
DID NOT BAT: E. Lewis.
FALL OF WKTS: 1-12, 2-17, 3-17, 4-91, 5-103, 6-141, 7-152, 8-169
BOWLING: Chahar 4-0-20-2 (1w), Kumar
4-0-41-2 (1w), Shami 4-0-25-2, Dube 3-0-32-0 (1w),Yadav 4-0-45-2 (1w), Sundar 1-0-5-0 (1w).
TOSS: West Indies
RESULT: India won by 67 runs.
SERIES: India won three-match series 2-1.
UMPIRES: Nitin Menon and C.K. Nandan (both India).
TV UMPIRE: Chettithody Shamshuddin (India).
MATCH REFEREE: David Boon (Australia).
Published in Dawn, December 12th, 2019