Kolkata: Rohit Sharma smashed a scintillating 98 not out at his favourite Eden Gardens as India scored a comprehensive 45-run win over the West Indies in their World T20 warm-up cricket match in Kolkata on Thursday.
Continuing with his love-affair at a venue where he had scored an ODI world record 264, Sharma plundered the Windies attack with seven sixes and nine fours in his 57-ball unbeaten 98 to power India to 185 for six after they batted first following a mutual decision.
In reply, West Indies were all out for 140 in 19.2 overs with the Indian bowlers coming up with an impressive show. Mohammed Shami, Pawan Negi, Ravindra Jadeja and Hardik Pandya took two wickets apiece while Harbhajan Singh and Jasprit Bumrah got a wicket each.
In-form Sharma was in his elements in the Indian innings though he missed a century by two runs as he was left with just a few deliveries after Jerome Taylor picked up wickets of Pawan Negi (8) and Hardik Pandya (0) off consecutive balls in the final over.
Sharma finally got the strike in the fourth ball of the final over and raced to 98 with a boundary over fine leg with a top-edge but failed to score in the next two deliveries to miss the mark by two runs in front of a 30,000-plus crowd.
Yuvraj Singh played a fine cameo of 31 from 20 balls (1x6, 3x4) as the third wicket partnership of 89 from 46 balls between him and Sharma lifted India from 62/2 at the midway stage.
In reply, the Windies were off to a flying start with Chris Gayle (20 from 11 balls; 3x4, 1x6) on fire but the big hitting opener was bowled by Jasprit Bumrah in his first over before Pawan Negi (2/15) and Ravindra Jadeja (2/26) dented their chase as they were bowled out for 140 in 19.2 overs.
Gayle took the attack on the Indian camp who started off with Ravichandran Aswhin and Harbhajan Singh. The Indian bowling duo leaked 26 runs in the first two overs with the big hitter Jamaican on fire.
Returning from an injury lay-off, Mohammed Shami was hit for two boundaries as Windies raced to 35 for no loss in first three overs when captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni brought in Bumrah and he was right on target castling the dangerman Gayle with a full length delivery.