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T20I: Rohit storm hits Rajkot as India level series

Prime Sports, International (Rajkot), November 8:- Skipper Rohit Sharma made it a memorable 100th T20 International blending grace with brutality in his 85 off 43 balls as India cantered to a series-levelling eight-wicket victory over Bangladesh at Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium on Thursday.

Chasing an easy target of 154 on far better track compared to Kotla, Rohit showed the gulf in class between him and the others on the park, hitting six fours and half a dozen of risk-free sixes as India chased the target in 15.4 overs.

The three-match T20 series now stands at 1-1 and the final game will be played in  Nagpur on November 10.

Such was Rohit’s dominance during the 118-run opening stand that it managed to overshadow Shikhar Dhawan’s (31 off 27 balls) wretched form.

Earlier, Indian bowlers led by Yuzvendra Chahal made an impressive comeback to restrict Bangladesh to a sub-par 153 for 6 and then the dew also played its part on a good track where the ball was coming onto the bat.

Rohit teed off in the fourth over of the innings when he hit an off-drive, followed by a cover drive and then a straight six off Mustafizur Rahaman.

It was difficult to come back from that point for Bangladesh as the Indian captain got boundaries and sixes at will.

Pacer Shafiul Islam was given the charge and hit over long-on for a six and slow sweep off-spinner Afif Hossain brought up his 18th half-century in this format.

When off-spinner Mosaddek Hossain Saikat (0/21 in 1 over) tried to come round the wicket to try a negative line, Rohit hammered him for three sixes in the arc between long-on and mid-wicket.

Just when the fifth hundred in this format looked there for the taking, the skipper was out trying to hit a seventh six. Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul then completed the formalities with 26 balls to spare.

Earlier put into bat, Bangladesh could not capitalize on a good start as Chahal’s (2-28) double breakthrough in the 13th over pegged the visitors back. A quick-fire 30 off 21 balls by skipper Mahmudullah Riyad helped them cross the 150-mark.

Openers Liton Das (29 off 21 balls, 4×4) and Mohammad Naim (36 off 31 balls, 5×4) shared a 60 run opening stand.

Naim slammed profligate left-arm pacer Khaleel Ahmed (1-44 from 4 overs) for three successive boundaries to start on a rousing note. (MR, Inputs: Agencies).

 

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