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Rediff.com  » Cricket » PHOTOS: Rohit slams century to lift India to T20 series win

PHOTOS: Rohit slams century to lift India to T20 series win

Last updated on: July 08, 2018 22:36 IST

Rohit Sharma

IMAGE: Rohit Sharma celebrates after completing his century. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Rohit Sharma blasted an unbeaten century to power India to a seven-wicket victory which helped the visitors clinch the three-match T20 International series against England 2-1, in Bristol, on Sunday.

Rohit smashed his way to a brilliant 100 not out from 56 balls, hitting 11 fours and five sixes, as India cruised to 201 for three in 18.4 overs, to win with eight balls to spare.

Hardik Pandya provided the finishing touches with his quickfire 33 not out from 14 balls to follow up with impressive showing with the ball, having claimed career-best figures of four for 38.

 

The series win set the right tone for the gruelling challenges ahead, starting with the upcoming three-match ODI series against England, beginning on Thursday, July 12.

Rohit Sharma

IMAGE: Rohit Sharma smashed his way to a brilliant 100 not out from 56 balls, hitting 11 fours and five sixes. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Chasing 199, India made a bright start with 21 runs on board after the second over but opener Shikhar Dhawan (5) got out immediately as Jake Ball taking a superb diving catch at short fine leg off David Willey.

Rohit looked in good touch right from the start as he hit Liam Plunkett for two sixes and a four in the fourth over to build up the momentum of the Indian run chase.

KL Rahul (19 off 10 balls) fell to a spectacular catch by Chris Jordan who ran back from mid-on and then flung himself full length to pluck the ball out of nowhere. Despite that, India were on course with 70 on board for two at the end of six overs of Powerplay.

Rohit continued his aggressive approach as he raced to his fifty off 28 balls in the ninth over while also taking Indian score to 100 for 2 at the halfway mark to keep the visitors on course.

Virat Kohli

IMAGE: Captain Virat Kohli stroked a fluent 43 from 29 balls. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Rohit then targetted Plunkett, hitting the pacer for a six and a four in the 11th over and captain Kohli, who came on the crease at the fall of Rahul, joined the party with a six in the next over as India dominated in the middle overs.

Kohli hit another six off Plunkett before he was dismissed Jordan in the 15th over, caught and bowled by the bowler in a soft dismissal after a fluent 43 from 29 balls, adding 89 runs for the third wicket with Rohit to ensure India's good progress in the middle overs.

Pandya, who was promoted to No. 5, immediately found the boundaries as India went on a rampage at the end. Pandya hit Willey two fours and a six to get 20 runs from the 18th over before Rohit raced to his century in the next over, from just 56 balls with a single to thirdman off Jordan.

Pandya ended the match in great style as he blasted Jordan for a six over long-on with India winning the contest with eight balls to spare.

Jason Roy

IMAGE: Jason Roy blasted a quickfire half-century to lift England to 198 for nine. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Earlier, opening batsman Jason Roy smashed a blistering 67 from just 31 balls but India made a superb fightback on the back of Hardik Pandya's four-wicket haul to restrict England to 198 for nine.

Sent into bat, Roy and his opening partner Jos Buttler (34 runs of 21 balls) shared 94 runs from 7.5 overs to make a flying start in their innings as the duo dealt in fours and sixes initially.

England would have posted a much bigger total but for the comeback by the Indian bowlers in the final few overs, led by Hardik Pandya who claimed career-best figures of four for 38.

India wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni also became the first wicketkeeper to complete 50 catches in T20Is by taking five catches.  

Roy and Buttler used the short boundaries to great effect and took England past 50 from just 27 balls.

IMAGE: Siddarth Kaul, left, celebrates after taking the wicket of Jos Buttler. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Some poor bowling from Indian pacers, who either sprayed the ball or bowled too short, helped England in getting off to a quick start. The visitors also did not field too well in the Powerplay overs and England made merry under the sun, hitting eight fours and two sixes within the first five overs.

The first chance came in the seventh over but Kaul could not only get his fingers to it, running in from midwicket. Buttler was on 20 then with Chahal the bowler.

Roy, on the other hand, reached his third T20I half-century off only 23 balls, inclusive of four fours and five sixes.

The breakthrough was provided by Kaul as Buttler was bowled by a full delivery.

England crossed 100 in the 10th over, before India claimed the key wicket of Roy against the run of play. He tried to run the ball down to third man, but only ended up edging behind to Mahendra Singh Dhoni with debutant Deepak Chahar (1/43) picking his maiden international wicket.

Pandya bowled poorly in his first spell, against the field set by his captain as he was taken for two fours and two sixes, but returned later to impact the English middle order.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni

IMAGE: Wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni became the first wicketkeeper to complete 50 catches in T20Is as he took five catches in the innings. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

In the 14th over, Chahal missed a chance to dismiss Eoin Morgan, on four, failing to latch onto a high catch at cover only to end up banging his head on the ground. He went off for some treatment but Morgan did India a favour with another skier off the very next ball. Dhoni completed the catch this time around, albeit he ran over the stumps.

Pandya was not done yet, as he had Alex Hales (30) caught behind too, who tried to deflect the ball towards third man.

The green-top did not pose any challenge for the batsmen as England recovered thanks to a 37-run partnership between Ben Stokes (14) and Jonny Bairstow (25 off 14 balls).

England had lost four wickets for 46 before this partnership set in, with Bairstow, the aggressor, hitting two fours and two sixes. There was another mini collapse thereafter, as the hosts lost five wickets for 21 runs in the last 14 balls to finish below the 200-run mark.

Pandya was the standout bowler in the innings after a poor start, and Umesh as well as Kaul complemented him towards the death, with Dhoni taking five catches a day after his 37th birthday on Sunday.

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