On this day in 2017: Rohit Sharma’s blitz blows away Sri Lanka

List-A Cricket

There is little that the opposition can do when gifted batsmen such as Rohit Sharma get into their rhythm. On this day in 2017, it was one of those days when the hapless Sri Lankans were up against an unstoppable and on-song Rohit Sharma, who slammed the joint-fastest Twenty20 international century, reaching the landmark from 35 balls in an 88-run victory over the Lankans.

Record-breaking knock

To get to the milestone, Rohit blasted 11 fours and eight sixes until he reached his 100, matching South African batsman David Miller, who had taken the same number of deliveries during their 83-run win against Bangladesh. The opener ended up with 10 sixes and 12 fours before he was dismissed for 118 from 43 deliveries

Such was his dominance that he scored as many as 108 i.e. 91.52% of his runs in mere boundaries: the highest for any T20I innings of 30 or more balls. Rohit also eclipsed the previous highest score by an India batsman in T20Is, which was set by KL Rahul against West Indies in 2016. The luckless Sri Lankans were plundered all over the park by the openers, and on the back of the scintillating century from Rohit and KL Rahul’s 89, India registered a mammoth 260 for 5 on the board – India’s highest total in T20I to this day, and the then-second-highest overall.

Sri Lanka falter under pressure

Coming to chase a monstrous target, only three of Sri Lanka’s batsmen could reach double digits. Adding 36 for the first wicket with Upul Tharanga, Niroshan Dickwella fell to Jaydev Unadkat when he was 25 from 19. Kusal Perera, at 3, continued the fight as he slapped 7 sixes and 3 boundaries in his 77 from 37, however, once Yuzvendra Chahal got rid of Tharanga (47 from 29) to bring their 109-run partnership to an end. But none of the other batsmen could show courage to put up a fight.

The very next over from Kuldeep Yadav saw three wickets, starting with Thisara Perera, who skied a catch off his first ball. Succumbing under the score-board pressure, Perera fell to Yadav in the same over before Gunaratne was stumped for a duck. Jolted by three in a single over, Chahal struck thrice in the following over to finish with four wickets in the game. Sri Lanka slipped from 145 for 1 to 172 all-out in 25 balls to give India a memorable 88-run victory.