3 fastest fifties by Rohit Sharma in T20Is
Indian opener Rohit Sharma did not come to New Zealand with a great record. He struggled in the first two T20Is as well, scoring 7 and 8 respectively at Auckland. However, he roared back to form with 65 from 40 in the third game at Hamilton, an innings punctuated with six fours and three sixes.
After being the top-scorer for India, he then returned in the Super Over to caress the two sixes that took India past the winning line. In his match-winning innings, Sharma raced to his fifty from merely 23 balls in the third T20I against New Zealand.
His brisk knock at Hamilton was the Indian vice-captain’s joint second fastest fifty in T20Is. Earlier, Rohit had also blasted half-centuries off 23 balls against West Indies at Mumbai and Bangladesh at Rajkot, both last year. His fastest fifty came off 22 deliveries against the Windies at Lauderhill in 2016. Here’s a detailed analysis of Rohit’s quickest half-centuries.
#3. 23 balls vs Bangladesh at Rajkot (2019)
India had lost the first match of the T20I series against Bangladesh at Delhi, their first defeat in the format against the Asian opponents. Thus, heading into the second match at Rajkot on November 7, 2019, they were under pressure to stay alive.
The bowlers did a good job to restrict Bangladesh to 153 for 6 bowling first. Yuzvendra Chahal was India’s best bowler with 2 for 28. After that, it was time for Rohit Sharma to step up. He was in his elements right from the start, speeding to fifty from 23 balls, and featuring in a 118-run stand for the opening wicket with Shikhar Dhawan, who contributed 31 from 27.
Sharma raced away to 85 from only 43 balls with six fours and as many sixes. He was eventually dismissed by Aminul Islam, but the knock paved the way for an easy Indian triumph, by eight wickets.
#2. 23 balls vs West Indies at Mumbai (2019)
Just a month after his heroics at Rajkot, he was at it again, this time at his home ground - the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai against West Indies on December 11, 2019. With the series tied 1-1, Rohit smashed a stroke-filled half-century, again off only 23 balls.
Hammering the likes of Sheldon Cottrell (1 for 40) and Jason Holder (0 for 54), Sharma blasted an amazing 71 from merely 34 balls as the Windies looked completely at sea. He looked set for a century when a mistimed hit off Kesrick Williams ended his stay at the crease. He returned with six fours and five sixes to his name.
KL Rahul (91 from 56) and skipper Virat Kohli (70 not out from 29) also excelled as India posted a mammoth 240 for 3 in their 30 overs. Despite opposition skipper Kieron Pollard’s stunning 68 from 39 balls, an innings featuring six sixes, West Indies fell way short of the target, losing by 67 runs.
#1. 22 balls vs West Indies at Lauderhill (2016)
His fastest fifty, off 22 balls, also came against West Indies, at Lauderhill on August 27, 2016, albeit in a losing cause. India were chasing 246 to win the first T20I of the two match-series, but fell tantalisingly close, losing by one run.
At the top, he raced away to a half-century off 22 balls. However, his innings was cut short as he was dismissed for 62 from 28 deliveries, an innings comprising four fours and as many sixes. After his return to the pavilion, KL Rahul went on to make a magical 110 not out from 51 balls. Skipper MS Dhoni contributed a brilliant 43 from 25 but was caught off Dwayne Bravo’s bowling of the last ball as, for once, he failed to take India over the line.
Batting first, West Indies posted an imposing 245 for 6 courtesy Evin Lewis’ 49-ball 100 and Johnson Charles’ 79 from 33. For India, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar all conceded over 40 in their four overs.
Also read: Rohit Sharma becomes first Indian to hit 400 sixes in international cricket, joins Gayle and Afridi in an elite list
Published 02 Feb 2020, 08:33 IST