November 8, 2019 / 2:04 AM / 9 days ago

Cricket: Rampaging Rohit leads India to series-levelling win

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India captain Rohit Sharma celebrated his 100th Twenty20 International with a blistering 85 to help secure his team’s series-levelling eight-wicket victory over Bangladesh in Rajkot on Thursday.

Smarting from India’s loss in Sunday’s opening match in Delhi, Rohit put up a scintillating batting display as India overwhelmed their 154-run victory target with 26 balls to spare.

Earlier, the home captain elected to field as the game got underway at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium after cyclone Maha had weakened.

Bangladesh’s top order gave them a strong start with Liton Das, who made 29, enjoying a charmed life in the middle.

The opener was stumped off Yuzvendra Chahal but got a reprieve after replays confirmed wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant did not collect the ball behind the stumps, with part of his gloves jutting ahead of the line.

The wicketkeeper nearly repeated the mistake when effecting a similar dismissal to send back Soumya Sarkar for 30 off Chahal.

Liton enjoyed a second life when Rohit dropped a skier but the batsman could not make the most of it and ran himself out.

Mohammad Naim made 36 and captain Mahmudullah a breezy 30 down the order but Bangladesh could not capitalise on their strong start and posted 153-6.

Rohit, the second player after Shoaib Malik (111) of Pakistan to play 100 Twenty20 Internationals, returned to toy with the Bangladesh attack, hitting the seamers and spinners around the ground.

The right-hander needed only 23 balls to reach his fifty and added 118 runs with Shikhar Dhawan, whose 31 looked laboured by comparison.

Rohit smashed half a dozen sixes in his 43-ball blitz, including three in a row off Mosaddek Hossain who bled 21 runs in his first over before he was promptly taken out of the attack.

Aminul Islam ended the carnage when Rohit holed out in the deep but India’s victory was a formality by then.

Nagpur hosts the third and final match of the series on Sunday.

Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Ed Osmond

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