Lauderhill, Florida: Rohit Sharma led from the front as India defeated the West Indies in a rain-affected second fixture of the three-match T20 International series at the Central Broward Stadium in Florida on Sunday.
Opening batsman Sharma blazed 67 off 51 balls, with three sixes and six fours embellishing his entertaining innings, in pacing India to 167 for five after captain Virat Kohli chose to bat first.
Despite a bludgeoning 54 from Rovman Powell, West Indies were kept in check at 98 for four off 15.3 overs when the inclement weather intervened.
Torrential showers prevented any further play and India were declared winners by 22 runs on the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method as West Indies needed to be at 121 to be ahead on run-rate when play was halted.
Having won the low-scoring first match of the series by four wickets at the same venue a day earlier, India will now be pursuing a clean sweep of the series when the final match is played at the Providence Stadium in Guyana on Tuesday.
Sharma dominated an opening stand of 67 with Shikhar Dhawan and looked on course for a hundred when a miscued swing at Oshane Thomas resulted in a comfortable catch for Shimron Hetmyer at extra-cover.
Thomas also removed Rishabh Pant cheaply and the West Indies did a better containing job in the second half of the innings except for the final over when three sixes were hoisted off Keemo Paul.
Paul dismissed Dhawan for 23 and left-arm fast bowler Sheldon Cottrell claimed the prized wicket of Kohli (28) and doubled his wicket tally in removing Manish Pandey to a wicketkeeper’s catch.
After going almost four overs without finding the boundary ropes Krunal Pandya heaved two sixes and Ravindra Jadeja added another in Paul’s expensive finale to the innings.
Faced with a daunting target, and mindful of the potential threat of rain, West Indies suffered two early setbacks with Evin Lewis and Sunil Narine both falling cheaply.
Narine was promoted to open the batting for this match with John Campbell dropped to accommodate an additional spinning option for the Caribbean side in left-armer Khary Pierre.
Powell and Nicholas Pooran tried to get their team back on course with a 76-run third-wicket partnership.
But they failed to score quickly enough to put their opponents under any real pressure. Pooran was the main stumbling block as his 19 runs came off 34 deliveries while Powell raced to 54 off the same number of balls.
He lost Pooran to a well-judged catch by Manish Pandey on the long-on boundary before falling as well leg-before to the same bowler, Krunal Pandya. His entertaining innings included three sixes and six fours.
There was no time for Kieron Pollard and Shimron Hetmyer to get into stride as the forecasted thundershowers closed in to wash away any prospect of the remaining overs being bowled.