Mumbai: Rohit Sharma and Ambati Rayudu lit up the jam-packed Brabourne Stadium with explosive centuries to power India to a mammoth 377/5 against the West Indies in the fourth One-day International (ODI) here on Monday.
Back to his hometown for the penultimate game of the five-match rubber, Rohit compensated for his failure in the third ODI by belting another top-notch hundred, the 21st of his career and the second of the series.
Rohit’s 162 came off 137 balls, and was laced with 20 boundaries and four sixes, but importantly crucial from the team’s point of view as he forged a 211-run third wicket stand with the other centurion Ambati Rayudu (100 off 81
balls; 4X8, 6X4).
Electing to bat, India raced to a brisk 71-run opening stand between Shikhar Dhawan (38) and Rohit, but were jolted once again with the second wicket of skipper Virat Kohli (16) falling in the span of 30 runs.
A rare failure after three consecutive tons, Kohli’s early departure gave Rayudu, the newly-anointed No.4 the perfect platform to not only stamp his authority but also cement his place in the build up to the ICC World Cup in 2019.
With Rohit in full flow, Rayudu took the back seat playing the perfect second fiddle and quietly watched the Mumbaikar racing to his 21st ODI ton off 98 deliveries when he chopped left-arm spinner Fabian Allen for a boundary to the point boundary.
The 33-year-old Rayudu steadily brought up his half century before matching his partner shot by shot until off-spinner Ashley Nurse got the back of the opener caught at third man by Chandrapaul Hemraj.
The Hyderabadi right-hander continued milking the West Indians and in the company of an off-colour Mahendra Singh Dhoni (23), reached his third century off 80 deliveries before finally being run out.
Towards the end, Kedar Jadhav (16 not out) and Ravindra Jadeja (7 not out) got a few lusty blows to swell the total past the 370-run mark.
For the West Indian bowlers, it turned out to be a tough day at office, as pace spearhead Kemar Roach leaked 74 runs for his two wickets, while off-spinner Nurse and medium pacer Keemo Paul picked one scalp apiece.
Brief Scores: India 377/5 (Rohit Sharma 162, Ambati Rayudu 100; Kemar Roach 2/74) vs West Indies.