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India vs West Indies | Rohit Stars as India Seal Series in Rain-curtailed Second T20I

Cricketnext Staff |August 5, 2019, 7:15 AM IST
India vs West Indies | Rohit Stars as India Seal Series in Rain-curtailed Second T20I

Rohit Sharma's fine batting display up the order followed by Krunal Pandya's all-round performance led India to a 22-run win (DLS) in the rain & thunder-affected second T20I against West Indies in Florida on Sunday (August 4), which gave them an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.

Rohit scored 67 off 51 balls, setting India up for a challenging total of 167 for 5 before Krunal Pandya (13-ball 20*) and Ravindra Jadeja (4-ball 9*) propped up the innings by smashing 20 runs in the final over, which was bowled by Keemo Paul.

West Indies were then reduced to 98 for 4 in 15.3 overs before players were asked to leave the field as a precautionary measure because a severe thunderstorm was rolling in and there was the threat of lightning. It only got gloomier from there on and the match had to be called off with West Indies being 22 runs short of the DLS-par score - 120.

Sent into bat, India were off to a quick start as they reached the 50-run mark in the seventh over, with Rohit doing the bulk of scoring. Rohit found the gaps with ease, clipping Paul off his pads for a six over deep midwicket. The World Cup's highest scorer then swept him for a four as the Indians upped the tempo.

However, it was Paul who gave West Indies their first breakthrough when he bowled Shikhar Dhawan with the Indian scorecard reading 67 for 1 in the eighth over.

Two quiet overs followed as Indian captain Virat Kohli joined Rohit, who broke the shackles with a six over deep midwicket, Sunil Narine being the bowler, and then brought up his 17th half-century in this format with a single to long-off. In the process, Rohit became T20 internationals' most prolific six-hitter, going past Chris Gayle with 106 maximums. He struck six fours and three sixes in this match.

Nicely getting underneath the flight of left-arm spinner Khary Pierre, Kohli got going with a neat six. Well settled at the other end, Kohli's deputy Rohit then smashed Carlos Brathwaite for a six and four as India's hundred came up in the 13th over.

It took a fine catch from Shimron Hetmyer to bring an end to Rohit's stay in the middle -- he hit one high up in the air off Oshane Thomas with just over six overs left in the Indian innings. Rishabh Pant (5) once again perished quickly, top-edging Oshane Thomas into the hands of third man fielder Kieron Pollard.

Sheldon Cottrell then had the big one, sending Kohli's middle stump cartwheeling for a 23-ball 28 with a perfectly-executed yorker. But just when everything was going well for West Indies, Krunal and Jadeja played brisk cameos to give India a solid finish.

In response, West Indies got off to a horrible start as Bhuvneshwar Kumar once again outfoxed Evin Lewis (0) with a knuckle delivery and took a superb return catch. Opening the innings for the first time in international cricket, Narine kept swinging wildly against Washington Sundar but not once could clear the in-field. He was eventually knocked over by the off-spinner for just 4.

With Nicholas Pooran struggling to get going, Powell walked out with all guns blazing and went after Navdeep Saini and Khaleel Ahmed. Player of the Match in the first T20I, Saini didn't have a great day. While Pooran played out way too many dot deliveries, Powell smacked six fours and three maximums during his stay in the middle.

The two added 76 runs but it was Powell who did almost all the scoring. Pooran's 34-ball 19 came to an end in the 14th over when he fell to Krunal (2 for 23). Three balls later, the left-arm spinner pinned dangerous Powell right in front of the stumps to make things worse for West Indies.

India were in full control of the game before players had to leave the field and the bad weather never allowed the game to resume.

The two teams will now fly to Guyana for the final T20I that will be played at the Providence Stadium on Tuesday.

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