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Sharma blitzes 85 as India levels T20 series vs Bangladesh

November 7, 2019
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India's captain Rohit Sharma plays a shot during the second Twenty20 international cricket match against Bangladesh in Rajkot, India, Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)
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India's captain Rohit Sharma plays a shot during the second Twenty20 international cricket match against Bangladesh in Rajkot, India, Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)

RAJKOT, India (AP) — Rohit Sharma smacked 85 runs off 43 balls as India beat Bangladesh by eight wickets in the second T20 on Thursday and levelled the series 1-1.

Playing his 100th T20, Sharma struck six sixes and six fours as he scored a 23-ball half-century.

He helped India score 154-2 with 26 balls to spare, chasing down Bangladesh’s 153-6.

Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan (31) put on 118 runs for the first wicket

Sharma, only the second male cricketer to reach a century of international T20s after Pakistan’s Shoaib Malik, smashed three sixes off Moassadek Hossain in the 10th over. He eventually fell in the 13th over.

“With dew, it was difficult for the bowlers to grip the ball and we took maximum advantage of that,” Sharma said. “I knew the conditions were perfect (for batting).”

Shreyas Iyer (24 not out) and Lokesh Rahul (8 not out) eased India across the finish line with 26 balls to spare.

Earlier, Yuzvendra Chahal (2-28) and Washington Sundar (1-25) bowled tight spells to rein in Bangladeshafter after sending them in to bat.

Liton Das (29) and Mohammad Naim (36) gave a quick start to their innings and put on 60 for the first wicket.

But Sundar applied the brakes to the aggressive scoring and Deepak Chahal’s leg spin played a key role as he struck twice in four overs.

The vital moment came when Mushfiqur Rahim (4) was caught in the deep off Chahal in the 13th over.

Soumya Sarkar (30 off 20 balls) and skipper Mahmudullah (30 off 21 balls) contributed important runs later in the innings, but Bangladesh fell short of a competitive total.

“It was a very good wicket to bat on and 180 would have been defendable,” said Bangladesh skipper Mahmudullah. “The Indian openers started superbly and got the momentum. On a wicket like this, wrist spinner is a very handy bowler to have in your side and Chahal showed that.”

Bangladesh won the first T20 by seven wickets, its first win over India.

The third and final T20 will be on Sunday in Nagpur.

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