Indore: Skipper Rohit Sharma blasted a 35-ball century to power India to the joint-second highest T20I total of 260/5 in the second match against a hapless Sri Lanka at the Holkar Cricket Stadium here on Friday.
Put in to bat, India rode on a record opening partnership of 165 runs, bettering the previous 158 runs between Lokesh Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan, as Rohit plundered the Sri Lankan bowlers to notch his second T20 ton (118 from 48 balls; 48×12, 6×10). From the onset, there was no stopping the Mumbai right-hander, who also equalled the fastest T20I century with South Africa’s David Miller as India raced to 50 in the first five overs.
While his opening partner Rahul (89 off 49; 4×5, 6×8) started the onslaught with a couple of boundaries, Rohit took over by pulling Nuwan Pradeep for a thunderous six over mid-wicket before taking Akila Dananjaya to the skies thrice to milk 16 runs off the off-spinner’s first over.
Rohit brought up his half century off just 23 deliveries, sending medium pacer Asela Gunaratne over deep mid-wicket for a maximum before swiftly moving on to 97 when he took his Sri Lankan counterpart Thisara Perera to the cleaners four times, thrice consecutively as the over yielded 26 runs.
The Mumbaikar brought up his century in the next over, lacing a length ball through the covers for a boundary off Angelo Mathews before belting two sixes and a four off Dushmantha Chameera, who finally managed to bring the curtains down on Rohit’s innings with a slower one.
The fall of Rohit, brought in former India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (28 off 20; 4×2, 6×2), who added 78 runs for the second wicket with Rahul. Rahul made the most of the dropped chance early in his innings, as he brought up his second successive half century with a boundary off Pradeep before launching an all-out attack on the opposition after the loss of Rohit.
With India within striking distance of reaching the highest T20I total of 263, Pradeep struck with the wicket of Rahul before getting rid of the dangerous Hardik Pandya (10 off 3; 4×1; 6×1), two balls later in the penultimate over of the innings. Shreyas Iyer (0) was the next man to be dismissed on the second ball of the final over before Perera got rid of Dhoni, one ball later. Dinesh Karthik (5 off 2; 4×1) struck a boundary off the second last ball even as Manish Pandey managed to open his account as India raced to the second highest T20 total.
The visitors had another difficult day on the field with Perera and Pradeep picking two wickets each while Chameera took one towards the fag end of the Indian innings. Brief Scores: India 260/5 (Rohit Sharma 118, Lokesh Rahul 89, Mahendra Singh Dhoni 28) vs Sri Lanka.