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A world record 264 by India’s Rohit Sharma and a mammoth 404 for five in 50 overs was enough for India to plunge Sri Lanka to its fourth straight defeat in the fourth ODI of the Micromax Cup series here on Thursday.
Chasing a massive target at the Eden Gardens, the visiting team finished at 251 in 43.1 overs. Captain Angelo Mathews defied the Indian bowling to score a fine 75 and received support from Lahiru Thirimanne (59) and Tillakaratne Dilshan (34) in the top-order.
Riding on the confidence of scoring 142 in the tour opener for India ‘A’ at Mumbai, Rohit conjured up a brilliant double hundred — his second in ODIs. Rohit was slow to begin with. He took off in the company of skipper Virat Kohli and the two put the Lankan bowling to the sword. He fiercely pulled Eranga for a six in the first over of the batting powerplay.
With that, the 100 partnership came up. It was only a matter of time before the 27-year-old reached his century off 100 balls with 12 fours and a six. His 150 came off 125 balls with the aid of 19 boundaries and three sixes. The third-wicket produced 202 runs in 25.5 overs before Kohli (66) ran himself out going for the second run.
The Mumbai player, who scored 209 against Australia at Bengaluru last year, raced to 200 in 151 balls with 25 hits to the fence and five over it to emerge the first man to hit two double centuries in ODIs. This was the fourth double century in total, all scored by Indians.
Rohit made Lanka pay heavily for three dropped chances (on four, 201 and 222). He first went past his previous best of 209 and then Virender Sehwag’s 219. He reached 250 in 166 balls (32×4, 8×6).
He thoroughly dominated the fifth-wicket association with Robin Uthappa that produced 128 runs in less than 10 overs. He fell off the last ball of the innings, slamming Kulasekara straight to Mahela Jayawardene at long off after a monumental 264 (173b, 33×4, 9×6).
“I knew it was a good batting wicket, where 300 or 350 would be easily chaseable. Once I reached 50, I concentrated on turning my 100 to 150, then 150 to 200, and then 250,” Rohit explained.
He praised the crowd saying, “I made my Ranji and Test debuts here, got a 100 in the IPL and now this. The crowd here has been brilliant; they love the game.”
Two more records fell. The team’s total of 404 surpassed the Eden Gardens’ record of 317. The previous highest individual record of 150 by Gautam Gambhir also went overboard. On this occasion, the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) announced a reward of Rs. 2,64,000 to Rohit for the stupendous effort.
Internet Desk adds
The comeback man Rohit Sharma became the first batsman to score two double centuries during the fourth ODI against Sri Lanka at Eden Gardens, Kolkata on Thursday.
In the 46th over of the innings, Rohit hit a four off Kulasekara to reach his double century.
Rohit Sharma was batting on 222, the highest score in ODIs, eclipsing Sehwag’s 219, off just 155 balls with 27 fours and six huge sixes. His previous double century came at Bengaluru against Australia. India’s score is 357 for 4 in 46.3 overs.
At the end of 50 overs, India scored a mammoth 404 for 5. Rohit Sharma was out off the final ball of the innings. Rohit was caught by Jayawardene off the bowling of Kulasekara for 264 off just 173 balls with 33 fours and 9 huge sixes.
From : The Hindu