Virender Sehwag smashed the highest score in one-day cricket on Thursday as India flattened the West Indies by 153 runs to take a decisive 3-1 lead in the five-match series.
Sehwag hammered a scintillating 219 off 149 balls to lift India to their best one-day total of 418-5, before the West Indies were bowled out for 265 in the fourth international.
Debutant leg-spinner Rahul Sharma picked up three wickets in his first three overs as the tourists were outplayed, despite a defiant 96 from wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin.
Ramdin put on 64 for the last wicket with Sunil Narine (27 not out), before he was caught in the deep attempting to score his maiden one-day century.
Sehwag plundered 25 boundaries and seven sixes during his 149-ball blitz, joining compatriot Sachin Tendulkar as the only batsmen in history to have scored double-centuries in the 50-over format.
Sehwag moved past Tendulkar’s 200 not out — against South Africa in Gwalior last year — in the 44th over when, on 197, he cut Andre Russell to the point fence.
Sehwag was finally dismissed in the 47th over when he was caught in the deep off Kieron Pollard.
He was then clapped off the field by the entire West Indies team and some 30,000 jubilant home fans.
“I was cheering for Sachin when he got his double-hundred and it’s great to emulate that,” the 33-year-old Sehwag said.
“The pitch was great and allowed you to play your shots. I think you can get a double-hundred like this when you’re experienced. The last time I played 47 overs I got 175, this time I got 200,” Sehwag said.
West Indies captain Darren Sammy said there was little his team could do to stop Sehwag’s onslaught.
“Sehwag has destroyed bowlers all over the world, not only us,” Sammy said.
“We bowled some good balls, but he played better shots,” he added.
“The pitch was a belter, but we got pegged back by their spinners. They kept taking wickets and made it hard for us. It is good that in the end we managed to get past 250,” the West Indies captain said.
Sehwag’s blistering knock helped India surpass their previous highest one-day total of 414-7 against Sri Lanka in Rajkot in 2009.
It was Sehwag’s 15th three--figure knock in one-day cricket and the first since making 175 against Bangladesh in the opening match of the World Cup in Dhaka in February.
Sehwag, who is captaining India in the series in the absence of the rested Mahendra Singh Dhoni, had managed to notch up just 46 runs in the previous three matches.
However, he found the right conditions on the run-laden pitch at the Holkar Stadium in Indore to strike form ahead of the Test series in Australia starting later this month.
Sehwag, who was dropped on 170 by Sammy in the covers, put on 176 for the first wicket with Gautam Gambhir (67) and 140 for the second with Suresh Raina (55).
The West Indies suffered a blow before the start when star batsman Darren Bravo was ruled out of the must-win game because of a hamstring strain.
Bravo was replaced by Kieran Powell.
The final match will be played in Chennai tomorrow.