Mohali: Skipper Rohit Sharma led from the front with his third ODI double century to power India to a mammoth 392/4 against Sri Lanka in the second One-day International at the Punjab Cricket Association's I.S. Bindra Stadium here on Wednesday.
Rohit, who belted an unbeaten 153-ball 208, comprising 13 fours and 12 sixes, was engaged in two big partnerships -- 115 runs for the opening wicket with Shikhar Dhawan (68 off 67; 4x9) and then 213 for the second wicket with rookie Shreyas Iyer (88 off 70; 4x9, 2x6).
Coming into the match, the Mumbaikar was the only batsman to have hit two double tons. He got to the landmark in 151 balls when he stole two runs after nudging a full length delivery off his counterpart Thisara Perera in the final over of the innings.
Rohit's knock was the highest by an Indian captain against the islanders. After being put in to bat on a cold sunny morning, Rohit and Dhawan saw off the new ball blues and gradually began to pile up the runs against the uninspiring Sri Lankan attack.
Dhawan soon outscored his partner to reach his 23rd ODI half-century off 47 balls as the partnership soared to triple figures, before the southpaw gifted his wicket to left-arm spinner Sachith Pathirana.
The fall of Dhawan brought in young Iyer, who played the perfect second fiddle to his captain and started rotating the strike fluently. After cruising to a 50, Rohit chose only the errant deliveries to attack. But India's run-rate remained lofty due to Iyer's belligerence.
Iyer led the charge, getting to a run-a-ball maiden ODI half century even as Rohit neared his 16th ODI century. Rohit had nudged his way to his century off 115 balls by the end of the 40th over and then went on to thump 107 more off his final 37 balls.
In his effort to accelerate, Iyer, however, perished towards the dead end of the innings while Mahendra Singh Dhoni also walked back after hitting a five-ball 7. All-rounder Hardik Pandya then joined Rohit, who by now had neared his third ODI double century as India piled up 147 runs in the last 10 overs.
For the visitors, Nuwan Pradeep came close to Mick Lewis' record of most runs conceded in an ODI, but finished seven runs short, ending at 10-0-106-0. Skipper Thisara Perera was the most successful of the bowlers, picking 3/80. Brief score: India 392/4 (Rohit Sharma 208 not out, Shreyas Iyer 80; Thisara Perera 3/80) against Sri Lanka. (IANS)