posted on 2018-11-06 22:34:56
posted by Nesara VJ
Image Courtesy: Indian Express
India gained a series-winning 2-0 lead in the three match T20I series by registering a comprehensive victory over the West Indies in the second T20I at Lucknow. Put into bat first, the Rohit Sharma led side gave a competitive target of 196 runs to the Caribbean side before the Indian bowlers clicked together to win the game by 71 runs.
However, the game was set in the first innings itself, in which Rohit Sharma scored his 4th T20 century, thereby becoming India's leading run-scorer in T20Is. West Indies never offered any sign of a fight back in the second innings as the visitors were restricted to just 124 runs in 20 overs. Rohit Sharma was adjudged as the Man of the Match for his match-winning innings of 111 runs.
Bharat Ratna Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket stadium at Lucknow gave the city of Nawabs an international men's cricket match after a whopping 24 years. The whole city was lit and in a comical instance, both the teams were late to the stadium because of huge traffic. The large stadium with a cover a grass and cracks on the pitch gave signs of a low scoring game. However, India posted a huge total of 195 runs after the end of the first innings.
After the first T20 at the Eden Gardens where Rohit won the toss, it was Carlos Braithwaite's turn to win it this time around. Like the drill at the toss of T20 matches recently, Braithwaite chose to bowl first. Nicholas Pooran for Rovman Powell and Bhuvneshwar Kumar for Umesh Yadav were the only two changes made by Windies and India respectively.
Rohit Sharma's first six balls might have kept the Windies team in good spirits as Oshane Thomas bowled a superb maiden in the first over of the match. Both the openers lived dangerously in his second over too as Thomas showcased his talent yet again in the tour. India was not able to capitalize on a few free-hits and the shaky start was showing signs of exposing India's middle-order.
However, both Rohit Sharma and Shikar Dhawan got back to business and succeeded together for the first time in the series. While Shikar Dhawan made use of the huge outfield with singles and doubles, Rohit Sharma was dealing in boundaries.
Rohit also became India's leading run-getter in T20Is getting past Virat Kohli. Despite Dhawan's struggles, he made a useful contribution of 43 runs before he got out to series debutant Fabian Allen. This innings would increase Dhawan's confidence as he has been struggling to time the ball in the previous matches.
With almost 8 overs left, young Rishabh Pant was promoted to score some quick runs. However, after hitting a boundary, Pant got out for single-digits once again in the series.
KL Rahul walked out to give company to his captain and the right-hander also needed some runs under his belt before the tour of Australia. Rohit, on the other hand, completed his fourth T20 century thereby becoming the only player on the planet to do so. He got past Colin Munro's record to achieve this feat. Rahul also got going with a few boundaries as both batsmen decimated the West Indies bowlers at the death to take India to a good total of 195 runs.
Like the previous games, the opening combination of the West Indies failed to contribute for their side. This time, Khaleel Ahmed was the bowler who picked the wickets of both the openers.
Darren Bravo offered some resistance in the middle with a 23 run cameo which also included four boundaries. However, Denesh Ramdin and Nicholas Pooran failed to support the younger Bravo.
Hence, Kuldeep Yadav continued his routine of running through the opposition's middle-order and Bravo was one of his scalps. The Bumrah Bhuvneshwar combo was at it again as both picked up a couple of wickets each. Krunal Pandya contributed with an economical 4-over spell and a simple run-out of Fabien Allen. Keemo Paul and captain Braithwaite helped West Indies bat through to the last over somehow.
The next match is set to happen at Chennai on Thursday and the Windies would look to salvage some pride by winning that game. India may look at giving opportunities to the youngsters on the bench before the team embarks on a challenging tour of Australia.