Having overcome a few nervous moments during their victory in the series opener, India came up with a much more dominant performance to overpower West Indies in the 2nd T20I. The Men in Blue demolished the visitors by 71 runs to take an unassailable 2-0 series lead.
The Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow became the 52nd venue to host international cricket in India. After winning the toss, West Indies skipper Carlos Brathwaite chose to bowl first.
With a discernible grass cover holding the pitch together, Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan took a bit of time to get themselves in. The stand-in skipper went from strength to strength and hammered his fourth T20I century. India amassed a massive total of 195 for the loss of just two wickets.
Chasing such a huge target on a dicey track, West Indies lost wickets at regular intervals and crumbled alarmingly to 81/7. A few late hits from Brathwaite and Keemo Paul could only help the tourists reduce the margin of defeat as they finished on 124/9.
Here are some of the reactions of the players involved in the match.
Bankable Player of the Match Khaleel Ahmed: I had a lot more responsibility today as I was given the new ball (ahead of Jasprit Bumrah). I am closely working on my bowling arm as well as non bowling arm with (bowling coach) Bharat Arun sir in the training sessions. I was analysing the pitch from the moment when we were batting. I am really excited because I am getting the opportunity to represent my country. Hence, the passionate celebrations. [Translated from Hindi]
West Indies captain Carlos Brathwaite: We fielded well in the last game but today we did not. Chasing 195 was always an uphill task. This loss is hard to digest but we need to take the positives before we play the final game. (Fabian) Allen bowled well. They batted well but at one stage we thought we were one or two wickets away from restricting them to 160-170. Our batting continues to let us down. We have got a young group of guys so we need to appreciate their positives. We did not come with an out-and-out opener and we are still looking at the opening combination. We have to work with the players on tour and we are trying until the theory works out. We need to make the best decisions. Hopefully in the third game, we'll put up a better performance.
Indian captain and Man of the Match - Rohit Sharma: Like I said at the toss, not many games have been played here. It was a new pitch, so we wanted to understand how the wicket is behaving. And we carried on from there. Whenever you get an opportunity, you try and do well. Everyone who watched the game will go home smiling. That's what we play for. Glad we could win the game and the series. You know Shikhar's (Dhawan) natural instinct is to put pressure on the bowlers, but we decided to take our time. The partnership at the top was very important. The 120-plus opening stand was crucial and KL (Rahul) finished off well. Bumrah has been our premier bowler for us and the way we use him in T20s is different to ODIs. Khaleel wanted the new ball and he initially looks to swing it and he has taken up the challenge well. And when he bowls that kind of a spell upfront that helps us. This is a wonderful stadium, one of the best we've played in. Just want to thank the crowd for coming out and supporting us in huge numbers. Hope to get the same support in the future.
India win by 71 runs as @windiescricket end their innings on 124/9!@Jaspritbumrah93, @BhuviOfficial, @imkuldeep18 and @imK_Ahmed13 all took two wickets each.— ICC (@ICC) November 6, 2018
India win the series with a game to spare.#INDvWI RE-LIVE THE ACTION 👇https://t.co/lEbaAuflZv pic.twitter.com/6wGTT9gfHl
Clinical performance. Rohit Sharma ‘s sublime hitting a pleasure to warch always. A good Diwali eve for Cricket lovers. #IndvWI— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) November 6, 2018
Only Rohit Sharma can make a massacre look sublime.👏👏👏🙏🙏🙏— Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) November 6, 2018
When it’s your day, it’s your day. Can’t do a thing wrong today, Rohit Sharma. Magnificent century, good bowling changes and a wonderful catch already #IndvWI— Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) November 6, 2018
Fairly big outfield....but it matters only for batsmen who clear the boundary ropes. Not to ones who hits in the stands. Ro ‘SuperHit’ Sharma 👏👏 #IndvWI— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) November 6, 2018
Extraordinary innings from Rohit. That is 3 international T20 hundreds in 12 months!! When he opens the batting, he will deliver such numbers......— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) November 6, 2018
Rohit’s been unstoppable in past fee weeks, but despite his century West Indies must be guven credit for restricting score to under 200— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) November 6, 2018