Kolkata: Rohit Sharma on Thursday created history by smashing the highest individual ODI score with a breathtaking knock of 264 as India thrashed Sri Lanka by 153 runs in the fourth cricket one-dayer to take a 4-0 lead in the five-match series, here on Thursday.
Courtesy Rohit’s mayhem, India scored a mammoth 404 for five and then easily bowled out the islanders for 251 in 43.1 overs.
AS IT HAPPENED
Returning after a 10-week injury lay-off, Rohit had everything going his way after being let-off on individual score of four.
The Mumbaikar paced his innings to perfection as he first got set during the initial 50 runs before exploding against a clueless Lankan attack, as he scored his 264 off only 173 balls that had 33 fours and seven sixes.
In the process, Rohit also broke compatriot Virender Sehwag’s earlier world record of 219 runs, which he had set against West Indies in Indore, back in 2011.
Rohit is also the only batsman to register two double centuries in ODIs and also now holds the record for highest number of boundaries during his innings.
The epic milestone was reached when Rohit hit an elegant cover drive off Nuwan Kulasekara to become the first batsman with two double hundreds in ODIs.
Rohit did have ‘Lady Luck’ going his way as he was dropped twice after reaching his double hundred.
The stylish right-hander was all set to carry his bat through before he was holed out in the long-off region off the final delivery of the Indian innings.
Fittingly, he received a ‘Guard of Honour’ from his teammates, who stood on both sides outside the dressing room with spectators also giving him a standing ovation.
It couldn’t have been a more memorable innings on the 150th anniversary of the hallowed ground which has seen many outstanding individual performances.
Rohit’s magnificent knock will rank among the very best played at this ground by the likes of VVS Laxman, Mohammed Azharuddin, Sachin Tendulkar to name a few.
The fifth and final match of the series will be played at Ranchi on November 16.
Stand-in captain Virat Kohli, the other day, termed Rohit as the ‘X-factor’ going into the World Cup and was vindicated after a knock which was class act.
405 was never going to be easy after Lanka lost their first wicket for naught with pacer Umesh Yadav giving the breakthrough by claiming Perera (0) in the second ball.
Yadav next took the big scalp of Jayawardene cheaply as Lanka were 42/3 as the victory looked very near.
Skipper Angelo Mathews was the top-scorer for the visitors with 75 from 68 balls (9×4, 1×6) and shared 118 runs with Lahiru Thirimanne (59) but it was too little looking at the monstrous target.
Yadav (2/38) once again was the pick of Indian bowlers even as Dhawal Kulkarni decimated the middle and lower order with best figures of 4/34. Stuart Binny and Axar Patel too chipped in with a couple of wickets each.
They say records are meant to be broken, and at Eden Gardens today something similar was experienced.
On any given day, and on any surface, 264 was once considered a fighting ODI target.
And as it turned out, Lankans could not even get past Rohit’s individual score and were bundled out for 251 in 43.1 overs to concede an embarrasing defeat.
The innings was not only a mix of elegance, class and timing but luck too played a big role with Sharma tumbling records after records making the Lankans look like school boys.
If the ground was ‘Very Very Special’ for VVS Laxman after his career-defining 281, Rohit, who had made his Ranji debut here too made this his second ‘home’ having scored hundred on Test debut.
Incidentally, the Mumbaikar, who scored 109 in the last IPL here, has hundreds in all the three formats here, and today he had the record score in his first ODI appearance at Eden Gardens.
The batsman used his wrists beautifully to the angling Eranga deliveries and cut anything when provided with a bit of width.
India 404 for 5 (Rohit 264, Kohli 66) beat Sri Lanka 251 (Mathews 75, Thirimanne 59, Kulkarni 4-34) by 153 runs