MUMBAI, India (AFP) — Opening batsman Rohit Sharma slammed a dominant 162 to set up India’s crushing 224-run victory over West Indies in the fourth one-day international on Monday.
Sharma’s 211-run third wicket stand with Ambati Rayudu, who made 100, powered India to 377-5 after electing to bat first at Mumbai’s Brabourne Stadium.
The hosts then bowled out the West Indies for 153 in 36.2 overs to lead the five-match series 2-1. Paceman Khaleel Ahmed and left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav took three wickets each.
Skipper Jason Holder hit an unbeaten 54 for West Indies after they were reduced to 101-8 and staring at the prospect of suffering their biggest ever ODI loss. They lost to South Africa by 257 runs in 2015.
It was India’s third-biggest victory margin after their 257-run triumph over Bermuda in 2007 followed by the 256-run mauling of Hong Kong the next year.
The day belonged to Sharma who took apart the West Indies bowling, hitting 20 fours and 4 sixes during his 137-ball stay at the crease.
Sharma — the only ODI batsman to hit three double centuries — took control after the hosts lost their in-form captain Virat Kohli for 16.
Sharma put on 71 runs with opening partner Shikhar Dhawan, who was the first to go off pace bowler Keemo Paul for 38.
Kohli, who came into the game at the back of three successive centuries, was caught behind off paceman Kemar Roach. He has accumulated 420 runs in his four innings of the series so far.
Sharma, who made an unbeaten 152 in India’s opening win, got to his 21st century in just 98 deliveries and went on to register his seventh 150 plus score in 192 ODIs.
Off-spinner Ashley Nurse finally got Sharma’s wicket as the batsman sliced the ball to short third-man and Chandrapaul Hemraj took an excellent catch.
Rayudu kept up the pace at one end to get to his third ODI century but was run out soon after reaching the three-figure mark.
In reply, West Indies lost three of their top batsmen for just 20 runs including two run outs that spelt disaster for the tourists’ chase.
The 20-year-old Ahmed then rattled the opposition middle-order with his left-arm pace bowling as he returned figures of 3-13 from his five overs in just his 5th ODI.
Yadav then spun into action to wipe off the West Indies tail with three lower-order strikes.
The fifth and final ODI is on Thursday in Thiruvananthapuram.