LAUDERHILL: Evin Lewis smashed an impressive century as West Indies piled up the third highest ever Twenty20 international total of 245-6 against India at Lauderhill on Saturday.
The 24-year-old Lewis, whose only other appearance in the game’s shortest form had ended with a duck in the shock defeat to Afghanistan at the World Twenty20 this year, feasted on perfect batting conditions at the Florida venue.
Lewis, standing in for the injured Chris Gayle, reached exactly 100 off 48 balls with five fours and nine sixes and when he was out off the fifth ball of the 16th over, world champions West Indies were 205-3.
It was the fifth fastest T20 international century.
The highlight of Lewis’ innings was hitting five sixes off a Stuart Binny over, all of which sailed over the boundary on the back of a stiff Florida breeze.
West Indies’ total was just short of Australia’s 248 against England in Southampton in 2013 while Sri Lanka’s 260 against Kenya at Johannesburg in 2007 remains the highest ever international T20 total.
With fellow opener Johnson Charles, Lewis put on 126 for the first wicket.
The duo steered West Indies past the 100 mark by the eighth over.
The 27-year-old Charles reached his 50 off only 20 balls before he became the first man out, bowled by seamer Mohammed Shami for a lightning 79 off 33 deliveries.
Charles’ innings featured six fours and seven sixes and when he fell in the 10th over, West Indies were well-placed at 126-1.
West Indies reached the halfway mark of their innings in record style — their 132 runs beating the previous best after 10 overs of 131 set by South Africa against England at Centurion in 2009.
Andre Russell (22) and Kieron Pollard (22) added late cameos to give Carlos Brathwaite the opportunity to mark his first game in charge with a much-needed win.