Bristol: Rohit Sharma’s (100 n o, 56b, 11×4, 5×6) elegant unbeaten century made it a walk in the park for India as they cruised to a seven-wicket victory over England to clinch the three-match T20I series 2-1 here Sunday.
The Mumbaikar made a target of 199 look ridiculously easy on a small Bristol ground after the visiting bowlers did a commendable job to restrict the hosts to a sub-par score.
Captain Virat Kohli (43, 29b, 2×4, 2×6) played his part with his authoritative strokeplay while Hardik Pandya (4/38; 33 n o, 14b, 4×4, 2×6), who was pick of the Indian bowlers, also made a significant contribution with the bat as India reached to 201 for three in 18.4 overs.
The series win set the right tone for the gruelling challenges ahead with the three-match ODI series, up next, starting July 12.
Rohit stroked his way to his third T20I hundred, only the second batsman to do so after New Zealand’s Colin Munro, adding 89 runs for the third wicket with Kohli.
Chasing a target of 199, India made a bright start with 21 runs on board after the second over before opener Shikhar Dhawan’s (five) departure as Jake Ball made a fine diving catch.
KL Rahul (19) fell to a spectacular catch by Chris Jordan. In spite of that, India were on course with 70 for two at the end of powerplay. Rohit was not the one to remain quiet as he collected a few more fours to take India to 100 for two at the halfway mark.
The Indian captain hit a wonderful six off Plunkett before being a victim of Jordan in the 15th over. Pandya then found boundaries and India took 20 runs in the 18th over. Then he hit the winning runs, a six off Jordan to hand India the series.
Earlier, Jason Roy (67, 31b, 4×4, 7×6) along with Jos Buttler (34, 21b, 7×4), added 94 runs for the opening wicket inside eight overs, before India made a superb fightback on the back of Pandya’s brilliant spell to restrict England to 198 for nine.
Brief scores: England 198/9 (Jason Roy 67; Hardik Pandya 4/38) lost to India 201/3 (Rohit Sharma 100 n o) by seven wickets.
Twin records for MSD
Bristol: MS Dhoni Sunday completed a coveted double in T20 internationals, becoming the first cricketer to take five catches in a match and also reach 50 scalps in the shortest format. Dhoni achieved this feat in his 93rd T20 International. His tally of catches has risen up to 54.