RAJKOT Captain Rohit Sharma played a marauding 43 ball-85 on his 100th T20 International match as India leveled the three-match series against Bangladesh with a facile eight-wicket win in the second match at Surashtra Cricket Association Stadium here on Thursday.
Bangladesh, who beat India by seven wickets in first match, was restricted to a below par 153-6, despite getting a decent start and India made it a cakewalk, reaching the target after Rohit's firework.
Having scored 85, Rohit (8406) eclipsed Suresh Raina's 8392 runs to become second highest run getter for India in T20 cricket (including IPL and International cricket) after Virat Kohli's 8556. Rohit already is the highest run-getter in T20 International with 2537 runs.
With India at danger to loss the three-match T20 series at home for the first time, Rohit came up with his best and just played Bangladesh's bowling in a display for sheer aggressive batting.
Alongside him, Shikhar Dhawar was struggling to get the pace but Rohit's firework at the other end made it all easy for India. Rohit hammered six fours and as many sixes in his 43 ball-85 while Dhawan's 27 ball-31 was studded by four fours.
As India smoothly progressed to seal an all-wicket victory, Leg-spinner Aminul Islam Biplob (2-29), who was the only shining spot in Bangladesh's bowling in completely flat surface, saved the side from ultimate shamble, dismissing Dhawan and Sharma in consecutive overs, leaving India 125-2.
Shreyas Iyer (23) and KL Rahul (8) then completed the formalities to leave the third and final game at Nagpur on November 10 a deciding one.
Bangladesh's mindless batting actually paved the way for India to secure a comprehensive victory. The Tigers failed to capitalize on a good start in a pitch conducive to batting as most of the top order batsmen got the start but simply couldn't carry on it.
Opener Mohammad Naim was the highest scorer for the side with 36. Soumya Sarkar and captain Mahmudullah Riyad made identical 30 runs while Liton Das chipped-in-with 29 runs.
While one or two of them were expected to reach at least half-century mark, neither of them could do them in a flat batting deck.
Chasing the history to be a first overseas team to beat India in a three-match T20 series on India soil following their seven-wicket victory in first game, Bangladesh made a decent start with opener Liton Das and Mohammad Naim sharing 60 runs in just 7.2 overs.
Liton survived twice in consecutive overs on 17 and 26 when India failed to hold on the chance but he was run out like an apprentice.
Naim started promisingly with three boundaries of Khaleel Ahmed and looked gained the momentum of a big score. A needless slog however against Washington Sundar got the better of him after he struck five fours in his 31 ball-36.
At this phase, when Bangladesh was operating with 8 runs per over, India, desperate to level the series, clawed back into the game thanks to Yuzvandra Chahal who dealt a double strike in 13th over, taking out Mushfiqur Rahim (4) and Soumya Sarkar.
Afterwards, Indian bowlers stifled Bangladeshi batsmen for runs and took wickets in regular interval to restrict them in below par total.
Chahal took 2-28 for India while Deepak Chahar, Washington Sundar and Khaleel Ahmed grabbed one wicket apiece.
Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)