Rohit Sharma blazed his way to a record-breaking knock of 264 as India trounced Sri Lanka by 153 runs in the fourth One-day International to take a 4-0 lead in the five-match series, at the Eden Gardens, in Kolkata, on Thursday.
The Mumbai right-hander launched an all-out assault on the Lankan bowling as a result of which India amassed a mammoth 404 for five while batting first.
In reply, the islanders were dismissed for 251 in 43.1 overs.
Returning after a 10-week injury lay-off, Rohit had everything going his way after being let-off on his individual score of four.
He paced his innings to perfection, first getting set during the initial 50 runs and then exploding. His 264 came off just 173 balls, and included 33 fours and seven sixes.
In the process, he also broke compatriot Virender Sehwag's world record score of 219 runs, set against the West Indies in Indore, in 2011.
Rohit is also the only batsman to register two double centuries in ODIs and also now holds the record for highest number of boundaries during his innings.
The epic milestone was reached when he hit an elegant cover drive off Nuwan Kulasekara to become the first batsman to have two double hundreds in ODIs against his name.
However, he did have 'Lady Luck' going his way, as he was dropped twice after reaching his double hundred.
The stylish right-hander was all set to carry his bat through, but was caught in the long-off region off the final delivery of the Indian innings.
Fittingly, he received a 'Guard of Honour' from his teammates, who stood on both sides outside the dressing room even as the spectators gave him a standing ovation.
It couldn't have been a more memorable innings on the 150th anniversary of the hallowed ground which has seen many outstanding individual performances.
Rohit's magnificent knock will rank among the very best played at this ground by the likes of VVS Laxman, Mohammad Azharuddin, Sachin Tendulkar, to name a few.
The fifth and final match of the series will be played at Ranchi on November 16.
Getting 405, or even coming close to the total, was never going to be easy after Sri Lanka lost their first wicket for naught.
Pacer Umesh Yadav provided the breakthrough by claiming Kusal Perera (0) with the second delivery. After Dinesh Chandimal was snared by Stuart Binny, he next had the big scalp of Jayawardene cheaply and the visitors were reduced to 42 for 3.
Skipper Angelo Mathews batted gallantly and was the top-scorer for the visitors with 75 from 68 balls (9x4, 1x6). He shared 118 runs with Lahiru Thirimanne (59) but it was too little against a gigantic task.
As it turned out, the Lankans could not even get past Rohit's individual score, bundled out for 251 in 43.1 overs.
Umesh Yadav (2-38) once again was the pick of Indian bowlers even as Dhawal Kulkarni decimated the middle and lower order with best figures of 4-34.
Binny and Akshar Patel too chipped in with a couple of wickets each.
Earlier, India were 56 for two, but Rohit and Kohli were untroubled by the Lankan attack and put on 202 runs together off 155 balls for the third wicket to take the match away from the visitors.
Rohit also shared a 128-run partnership with Robin Uthappa (16).
With Sri Lanka’s bowling wayward, he was particularly ruthless in the batting powerplay that fetched India 57 runs. He smacked the bowlers all around the park before taking a deft single to deep square leg to notch his fifth century, his first at the venue.
Incidentally he also scored a debut Test hundred at the Eden Gardens. The venue again proved lucky for the Mumbaikar, who pointed skywards repeatedly and went down on his knees to celebrate the century.
He began his innings steadily and was lucky early on, getting a reprieve from Thisara Perera, who dropped a sitter at third man, even as Rahane was brisk at the other end.
With six fours, Rahane raced to 28 from 22 balls before being adjudged lbw in a dubious decision, as the ball hit high on his pad. But it was a breakthrough the Lankans needed.
Rohit soon saw the second wicket fall at the other end, this time from a superb angling delivery from Eranga that straightened to uproot Rayudu's off-stump.
He, however, remained unperturbed. He used his wrists beautifully against Eranga’s deliveries.
Kohli, who the other day only termed Rohit the X-factor going into the World Cup and stressed the need to give him maximum overs, kept his word and ensured that he got maximum strike.
The Lankans 'schoolboy' fielding and wayward deliveries further helped Rohit's cause. Kulasekara swayed outside the off-stump, bowling to a leg side field, while Mendis lacked bite as both batsmen scored easily.
Having scored the half-century from 72 balls, Rohit went into top gear as he took just 28 more balls to notch his 100 in as many balls.
The second hundred came even quicker. He got to 150 off 125 balls, 200 off 151 and 250 off 166. The Lankans could only stand as watch as the ball was despatched to all corners of the ground.
Earlier, both the teams made four changes each to their line-ups that turned up in Hyderabad.
Sharma returned to the top order in place of Shikhar Dhawan, while all-rounder Stuart Binny, leg spinner Karn Sharma and batsman Robin Uthappa were also included into the eleven.
Sri Lanka injected four new players into the team with Lahiru Thirimanne, Dinesh Chandimal, Eranga and Ajantha Mendis replacing Kumar Sangakkara, Chaturanga de Silva, Ashan Priyanjan and Lahiru Gamage.