Skipper Rohit Sharma rose to the occasion when it mattered most as his record breaking third double hundred guided India to a series-levelling 141-run win against Sri Lanka in the second ODI in Mohali on Wednesday. Rohit smashed an unbeaten 208 off 153 balls to fire India to a mammoth 392 for four, a total that proved to be too much for Sri Lanka as the visitors ended way behind at 251 for 8 with Angelo Mathews' unbeaten 111 going in vain.
Rohit, captaining the side in his first full series, singlehandedly won the game for India with an innings that comprised as many as a dozen sixes and 13 fours. After completing his first 100 runs off 115 balls, the stylish opener was simply unstoppable, blasting the next 100 runs off 36 balls to complete a famous double ton in the 50th over of the innings. His last double hundred, 264 at the Eden Gardens three years ago, had also come against Sri Lanka while the maiden one (209) was recorded against Australia at Bengaluru in 2013.
While Rohit stole the show with another sensational knock, Shikhar Dhawan (68 off 67) and rookie Shreyas Iyer (88 off 70) played the supporting role to perfection. India virtually batted Sri Lanka out of the game by posting the highest-total at this ground, surpassing the 351 for five South Africa made against the Netherlands in 2011. After Dhawan departed, Iyer batted well alongside Rohit and came up with the big shots just when his team needed to step on the accelerator. Rohit and Dhawan got the measure of the pitch in the first Powerplay, where they made just 33 and started playing their strokes thereafter to take India to 108 for no loss in 20 overs. Rohit and Iyer then got together to hammer the Sri Lankan bowlers all around the park. Lakmal tormented the Indian batsmen two days ago but today he bowled too full or too short.
India bowled well with the cushion of the mountain of runs. It was a memorable day for 18-year-old Washington Sundar, who picked the wicket of Lahiru Thirimanne on his India debut. The Sri Lanka innings also saw a security breach when a 21-year-old from Surat trespassed on to the field and touched MS Dhoni's feet. He was later detained by the police.
It was raining runs in the last 10 overs where India added as many as 147 for the loss of three wickets. In response to India's huge total, Sri Lanka were never in the game despite a fighting effort from Mathews. Rohit smashed an unbeaten 208 off 153 balls to fire India to a mammoth 392 for four, a total that proved to be too much for Sri Lanka as the visitors ended way behind at 251 for 8 with Angelo Mathews' unbeaten 113 going in vain.