On this day, six years ago, India’s white-ball vice-captain Rohit Sharma reached what might probably be an unbreachable mark. Rohit Sharma, who has scored three double-centuries in ODI cricket, punished and pummelled Sri Lanka at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata. The 33-year old smashed a record-breaking 264 in a One-day international, an innings that will remain unforgettable probably for lifetime.
Sri Lanka rendered probably the costliest drop in One-day international cricket when all-rounder Thisara Perera dropped him at third man when Rohit Sharma had scored four runs. Perera dropped what a quite comfortable take and the right-handed batsman, who returned from injury, did not look back. He reached his fifty in 72 deliveries and mustered a run-a-ball hundred.
Rohit’s next fifty came within the next 30 deliveries while the double-hundred took another 25 balls only. Angelo Mathews, who was the captain, ran out of ideas as a bowling attack, shorn of Lasith Malinga were left demoralized and helpless. It didn’t help that the fielders kept missing catches one after the other and going on to conceding boundaries.
It was only in the last ball of the innings that Rohit Sharma’s wicket fell when he holed out to long-off where Mahela Jayawardene took the catch. The highest partnership of the innings was between Sharma and Kohli, worth 102 while in the stand of 128 between the double centurion and Uthappa, the latter only contributed 16. Sharma’s breath-taking and jaw-dropping knock from 173 deliveries with 33 fours and nine sixes lifted the hosts to 404.
India bowl out Sri Lanka for 13 runs less than Rohit Sharma’s score:
Everything that could go wrong went wrong for the visitors. If chasing 405 was a daunting task already, Sri Lanka found themselves four down within ten overs. The likes of Dinesh Chandimal, Kusal Perera, Mahela Jayawardene, and Tillakaratne Dilshan were all back in the hut with Dilshan being the only one reaching double figures.
Angelo Mathews and Lahiru Thirimanne somehow kept their world standing with a 118-run partnership; however, a victory was never on the cards. The captain departed for 75 when Axar Patel struck for his first wicket. Thisara Perera, who endured a terrible night, played a brief cameo before Dhawal Kulkarni removed him and Thirimanne. The Lankans eventually got bundled out for 251 with seven overs to spare.
Rohit Sharma, who went on to bag the man of the match award, was rewarded with a check of INR 2,64,000 by Cricket Association of Bengal. With the 2015 World Cup around the corner, it was precisely what the defending champions needed. On the other hand, Angelo Mathews conceded that Sri Lanka, who leaked a staggering 290 in the last 25 overs, they need to rectify their every department.