India vs West Indies: Rohit Sharma century, Kuldeep hat-trick propel hosts to victory
Kuldeep Yadav became the first Indian player to claim two hat-tricks in international cricket.
A typical Rohit Sharma century, filled with elegant boundaries and effortless stroke-making, helped India beat West Indies by 107 runs in the second One Day International match of the series against West Indies in Vishakapattanam on Wednesday. The Mumbai Indians captain smashed 159 runs (138 balls) as his 227-run opening partnership with KL Rahul (102) gave India the impetus to register 387 in 50 overs.
Openers Evin Lewis (30 from 35 balls) and Shai Hope's (78 of 85 balls) opening stand had India worried in the early part of West Indies' run chase but Kuldeep Yadav's hat-trick (3/52) and Mohammad Shami's consistent fast bowling ensured an easy 107-run victory for the hosts. Kuldeep became the first Indian to secure two international hat-tricks but it was Shami (3/39 in 7.3 overs), who removed the dangerous Nicholas Pooran (75 off 47 balls) and skipper Keiron Pollard (0) off successive deliveries to spark the West Indies collapse.
Rohit Sharma was the chief orchestrator in the batting for India once again as he assessed the pitch perfectly and tuned his innings to suit it. The West Indies bowlers had no answers to the opener's batting as Mumbai Indians teammate and West Indies captain Keiron Pollard tried all his means.
Sheldon Cottrell (2/83 in 9 overs), expected to be picked up Indian Premier League teams in the upcoming auctions, was punished with such ferocity that he didn't have energy to do a customary 'Cottrell Salute' once he Shreyas Iyer out. Alzarri Joseph (0/68 in 9 overs) and Keemo Paul (0/62 in 9 overs) didn't fare any better.
Rohit's innings was a perfect demonstration on how to press the accelerator in this format -- first 50 off 67, the next off 40 balls and the last off only 25.
Players with more ODI centuries in a calendar year than Rohit Sharma:— ICC (@ICC) December 18, 2019
1. Sachin Tendulkar
End of list. pic.twitter.com/prhEMvArXp
The innings had 17 boundaries and five sixes as the crowd in Vizag watched in awe. KL Rahul gave Rohit company and clinched a century to silence his critics. Incidentally, Rohit was much behind Rahul in the race for half-century but reached the three-figure mark before the Karnataka-born batsman.
As Rohit took his own sweet time to settle down, Rahul went on the offensive taking on Cottrell first up with a flurry of boundaries. With the ball coming onto the bat nicely, Rahul hit his first six over point off Jason Holder and then hit left-arm spinner Khary Pierre for a six over long-on as the team total of 50 was reached.
By the time Rahul was into his 30s, Rohit hadn't crossed 20 but it was just a matter of time. Once his Mumbai Indians teammate Alzarri Joseph came into the attack, the pull shot also came out of the drawer. Alzarri's extra bounce was exactly what Rohit required as he rode on top of it and played a range of strokes to slowly catch up.
It was a rare failure for skipper Virat Kohli (0) but the capacity crowd at the YSR ACA-VDCA Stadium was not disappointed as Rishabh Pant and Iyer hit eight sixes between them in a span of four overs to ensure the score went past 375.
The comfortable victory helped India draw level (1-1) in the three-match ODI series.