Kolkata, March 11: India rode on a swashbuckling 98 not out from Rohit Sharma and then followed it up with a disciplined bowling effort to beat West Indies by 45 runs in a World Twenty 20 warm up game at the Eden Gardens here on Thursday.
Rohit who had earlier scored 264 in an One-Day International at the venue, continued his love affair with Eden Gardens by hitting seven sixes and nine boundaries en route to his unconquered knosk. Indian pacer Mohammed Shami impressed in his comeback from injury picking up 2/30 in his four overs.
There was no toss, the teams mutually decided that India should bat first. Chasing India’s score of 185/6, West Indies got off on a canter as Chris Gayle and Johnson Charles belted 36 runs in the first three overs. Charles first hit Ravichandran Ashwin for two sixes in the first over and then Gayle followed it up by smacking Harbhajan for a four and an overboundary of the next.
However, their merriment ended soon as pacer Jasprit Bumrah castled Gayle (18) and Charles (20) followed his partner soon after. Thereafter, the Indian bowlers kept chipping away at the wickets at regular intervals. It looked like the West Indies batsmen had come out with the motto to “hit out or get out”. Each of them perished trying to play the big shot.
The innings finally folded up for 140. Earlier in the evening, it was Rohit and Dhawan who opened the innings for the hosts. The latter, who scored 60 in the Asia Cup final against Bangladesh on Sunday, took on the West Indies bowlers in the first few overs. He smashed three fours and flicked into the stand for a six.
Dhawan then fell trying to heave left-arm spinner Suleiman Benn on the onside. The tweaker’s flat delivery crashed into his stumps. Ajinkya Rahane, who came in after the departure of Dhawan, looked ungainly and soon left for the dug out after scoring just 7 runs of 10 balls.
At the halfway stage, India were 62/2. With just 6.20 runs per over, Rohit took matters into his own hands punishing spinner Ashley Nurse for 16 in an over. He continued to play phis shots, at times effortlessly easing into a pull shot which too sailed into the stands.
Yuvraj too joined in the act after being dropped at 7 by Ashley Nurse. He looked at his fluent best and unleashed a few of his trademark straight hits which included a lift into the stands of Darren Sammy. The flamboyant left-hander, however, miscued a pull shot and was out caught at third man for 31.
Ravindra Jadeja and Pawan Negi then added a few to the scoreboard before departing in quick succession. Hardik Pandya too followed them by edging one to the wicket-keeper. However, as luck would have it, Rohit who had been smashing everything in his arc was left struck on 98 after missing the last two deliveries of the innings.
Brief Scores: India 185/6 in 20 overs (Rohit Sharma 98 not out; Jerome Taylor 2/26) vs West Indies 140 all out in 19.2 overs (Chris Gayle 20; Pawan Negi 2/15) (IANS)