KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma and skipper Virat Kohli struck explosive half centuries to power India to a mammoth 240 for 3 in series-deciding third T20 against West Indies here on Wednesday (December 11).
West Indies’ decision to bowl first backfired as Rahul (91 off 56 balls) and Rohit (71 off 34 balls) conjured 135 runs for the first wicket in 11.4 overs. They took a listless opposition attack to cleaners and smashed 72 runs in first six overs. While Rohit completed his 50 off 23 balls, Rahul did it in 29 deliveries.
And later in the innings, Kolhi (70 off 29 balls) showed his class as he and Rahul put up a 95-run-stand off 45 balls for third wicket to propel the hosts to the highest total at Wankhede Stadium.
Rohit began with a cover drive boundary off pacer Sheldon Cottrell. In second over off Jason Holder, Rahul hit back-to-back boundaries at the third man region, the first coming from a thick outside edge.
Rohit then stamped his class as he pulled Cottrell for a six and followed by a four towards mid-off region. It was Rohit’s 400th six in international cricket and he became the first Indian to achieve the feat.
Rahul then struck a four followed by a six over third man fence as India amassed 14 runs off 4th over by Jason Holder.
Left-arm spinner Khary Pierre was introduced into the attack, but Rohit welcomed him with a towering six over long-on. The next ball, Evin Lewis, almost pulled off a one-handed blinder, but could not complete the catch. Rahul inflicted more agony on Kesrick Williams as he hit two fours and a six in the sixth over.
Then Rohit hit two consecutive sixes and a four off Pierre as India raced to 102/0 after 8 overs.
This was third 100-run stand between the two in T20s. At the half-way mark, India were 116/0. However, West Indies pegged back India by removing Rohit and one-down Rishabh Pant (0) quickly.
Then Kohli joined Rahul as the two continued the onslaught. Kohli was brutal on Holder, as he hit two fours and a six in the 15th over, as India scored 22 runs off it. The last five overs belonged to Kohli, who hammered fours and sixes at will as West Indies paid heavy price for indiscipline bowling. Fittingly, Kohli finished the innings with a straight six.