Sat | Dec 15, 2018

Sharma's record-fast hundred lifts India

Published:Saturday | December 23, 2017 | 12:00 AM
India's captain Rohit Sharma on the go during the second Twenty20 international cricket match against Sri Lanka in Indore, India yesterday.

INDORE, India (AP):

Captain Rohit Sharma scored the joint-fastest Twenty20 century as India beat Sri Lanka by 88 runs to win their three-match series with a game to spare yesterday.

Sharma reached his second T20 century off 35 balls, equalling David Miller's record against Bangladesh at Potchefstroom in October.

He was eventually out for 118 off 43 balls, including 10 sixes and a dozen boundaries. Fellow opener Lokesh Rahul made 89.

India scored 260-5, the third best total in T20 history.

Sri Lanka, fighting back without the injured Angelo Mathews, was 155-2 in the 15th over then was suddenly all out for 172 in the 18th over, losing the series 2-0.

Kuldeep Yadav sparked the collapse when he took three wickets in the 15th over, including Sri Lanka high-scorer Kusal Perera on 77.

Fellow legspinner Yuzvendra Chahal took three more wickets in the 16th over and finished with 4-52.

"It was a good wicket to bat on. Rahul and I had some fun out there," Sharma said.

"On this pitch no target was defendable, so we wanted to get as many runs as possible. We had faith in our legspinners though and they brought us back into the game again."

Put into bat, Sharma and Rahul put up 165 runs for the first wicket at Holkar Stadium. Their 100 partnership came off only 52 balls.

Sharma reached his half-century off 23 balls and continued the onslaught. Meanwhile, Rahul scored his second consecutive T20 half-century off 35 balls.

After Sharma was dismissed, failing to get enough under a short bouncer from Dushmantha Chameera in the 13th over, Mahendra Singh Dhoni came in and added 78 runs with Rahul.

Dhoni was the second wicket to fall on 28, caught behind, but leading India passed 200 in the 16th over.

They lost quick wickets at the end but eclipsed India's previous highest T20 total of 244-4 last year against the West Indies in Florida.




In response, Sri Lanka started quickly, too. The second-wicket partnership between Upul Tharanga (47) and Kusal Perera (77) was worth 109 and put the visitors in contention for an improbable win.

Chahal got the breakthrough dismissing Tharanga in the 14th over.

The Sri Lankans withered, especially after the departure of Perera, who scored his seventh T20 half-century off 26 balls.

Sri Lanka lost eight wickets for 27 runs in the space of four overs.

"It was too big a target for us to chase," captain Thisara Perera said. "Tharanga and Perera batted well for us and gave us momentum but others couldn't build on it. It has been a tough series for us."

The third and last T20 is on tomorrow in Mumbai.