A disappointed Darren Bravo walks off as Indian fielders celebrate his dismissal in the second T20 International on Tuesday. (CMC)
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LUCKNOW – Another dismal performance led to another depressing result as West Indies suffered yet another series defeat with a heavy 71-run crushing at the hands of India, in the second Twenty20 International here Tuesday.
Chasing an imposing 196 for victory at Atal Bihari Vajpayee International Cricket Stadium after captain Rohit Sharma clobbered a record fourth T20I hundred, West Indies fell apart in their run chase, stumbling to 124 for nine off their 20 overs.
Left-hander Darren Bravo top-scored with 23 and tail-ender Keemo Paul got 20 but they were the only two to pass 15, as the innings never got going for the second straight outing in the three-match series.
For the Caribbean side, the series defeat was their fourth consecutive and they have now also lost nine of their last 11 T20 Internationals inside the last 12 months.
Opting to field first, the Windies were battered up front by a record 123-run first wicket stand as the incomparable Rohit Sharma slammed an unbeaten 111 off just 61 deliveries and partner Shikhar Dhawan, 43, to get India up to 195 for two off their 20 overs.
The right-handed Rohit counted eight fours and seven sixes, racing to his half-century in the 13th over off 38 balls before upping the tempo to reach triple figures off 58 deliveries, when he scooped a low full toss from captain and seamer Carlos Brathwaite to the fine leg boundary in the final over.
Left-hander Dhawan, meanwhile, struck three fours in a 41-ball knock, surviving a chance on 28 to Keemo Paul in the deep off Brathwaite in the ninth over, before perishing in the 14th – caught by Nicholas Pooran running to his left at deep square.
Rishabh Pant departed cheaply for five when he found Shimron Hetmyer at deep mid-wicket off left-arm spinner Khary Pierre in the 16th over but KH Rahul joined Rohit to add a further 62 off 28 balls, in a cavalier unbroken third wicket stand.
Rahul slammed two fours and a six in a 14-ball unbeaten 26 as India gathered 66 runs from the last five overs, with the last over from Brathwaite leaking 20.
West Indies never looked the part in the run chase and Shai Hope (6) lasted just eight balls before missing an ungainly swing at left-arm seamer Khaleel Ahmed (2-30) and having his stumps rattled in the second over.
Hetmyer, promoted to opener, was quickly into stride and had struck three fours in 15 off 14 balls when he failed to clear the ropes at long on with Khaleel, and was taken by Dhawan just inside the boundary.
Bravo looked the Windies’ best hope of making anything of their innings, the left-hander notching four boundaries in his 18-ball stay at the crease.
But magical left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav (2-32) intervened, accounting for Bravo and Pooran (4) in the space of four deliveries to stymie any comeback. First, Bravo edged a cut for Rohit to snare a sharp chance to his right at slip and Pooran failed to pick the googly and was bowled playing back.
Reeling at 52 for four in the eighth over, West Indies were in desperate need of a partnership but none was forthcoming.
Veteran Kieron Pollard, who has not passed 20 in 10 innings inside the last two years, added to those miserable stats when he scooped a pull at an innocuous delivery from Jasprit Bumrah back to the bowler in the 11th over.
And when Denesh Ramdin clipped seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar (2-12) off his legs to Rohit at square led to end his 17-ball labour over 10, West Indies were declining quickly at 81 for six in the 14th over.
New batsman Fabian Allen’s dismissal off the very next delivery summed up the Windies misery. He pushed the first ball he faced to cover and took off for a suicide single and Krunal Pandya promptly threw down the stumps at the striker’s end, leaving the right-hander short of his ground. (CMC)