2nd T20I: Rohit Sharma's quickfire 85 helps India thrash Bangladesh at Rajkot
Rajkot: Skipper Rohit Sharma made it a memorable 100th T20 International blending grace with brutality in his 85 off 43 balls as India cantered to a series-levelling eight-wicket victory over Bangladesh here on Thursday. Chasing an easy target of 154 on a far better track compared to Feroz Shah Kotla, Rohit showed the gulf in class between him and the others on the park, hitting six fours and half a dozen of risk-free sixes as India chased the target in 15.4 overs.
The three-match T20 series now stands at 1-1 and the final game will be played in Nagpur on Sunday. Such was Rohit’s dominance during the 118-run opening stand that it managed to overshadow Shikhar Dhawan’s (31 off 27 balls) wretched form. Earlier, Indian bowlers led by Yuzvendra Chahal made an impressive comeback to restrict Bangladesh to a sub-par 153-6 and then the dew also played its part on a good track where the ball was coming onto the bat.
Rohit teed off in the fourth over of the innings when he hit an off-drive, followed by a cover drive and then a straight six off Mustafizur Rahman. It was difficult to come back from that point for Bangladesh as the Indian captain hit boundaries and sixes at will. Pacer Shafiul Islam was given the charge and hit over long-on for a six and a sweep off spinner Afif Hossain brought up his 18th half-century in this format.
When off-spinner Mosaddek Hossain Saikat (0-21 in 1 over) tried to come round the wicket to try a negative line, Rohit hammered him for three sixes in the arc between long-on and mid-wicket. Just when a fifth hundred in this format looked there for the taking, the skipper was out, trying to hit the seventh six. Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul then completed the formalities with 26 balls to spare.
Put into bat, Bangladesh could not capitalise on a good start as Chahal’s (2-28) double breakthrough in the 13th over pegged the visitors back. A quickfire 30 off 21 balls by skipper Mahmudullah Riyad helped them cross the 150-mark. Openers Liton Das (29 off 21 balls, 4x4) and Mohammad Naim (36 off 31 balls, 5x4) shared a 60-run opening stand.
Naim slammed left-arm pacer Khaleel Ahmed (1-44 from 4 overs) for three successive boundaries to start on a rousing note. Seamer Deepak Chahar (1-25) and off-spinner Washington Sundar (1-25) did manage to stem the flow of runs but Khaleel’s poor show continued.
No. of T20 Internationals played by Rohit Sharma
Bangladesh 153-6 in 20 overs (M Naim 36, Mahmudullah 30, S Sarkar 30; Y Chahal 2-28) lost to India 154-2 in 15.4 overs (R Sharma 85, S Dhawan 31; A Islam 2-29) by 8 wickets
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