India 116-3 (Vijay 48) beat
Afghanistan 115-8 (Noor Ali 50, Nehra 3-19) by seven wickets
ICC World Twenty20 Group B, Saint Lucia
India produced a workmanlike display to beat tournament debutants Afghanistan by seven wickets as Group B of the ICC World Twenty20 got underway in Saint Lucia.
Despite Noor Ali's excellent half-century, Afghanistan could only reach 115 for eight, a target that never looked like threatening India, for whom Murali Vijay thumped 48 before they closed out the game with 31 balls to spare.
Ashish Nehra had Afghanistan in early trouble as he dismissed both Karim Sadiq (0) and Mohammad Shahzad (6) with short balls that were hooked to wicket-keeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and the score read 29 for three when Nowroz Mangal drilled Ravi Jadeja to Gautam Gambhir at mid off.
Ali, who faced 48 balls, then put on 68 for the fourth wicket with Asghar Stanikzai, who made 30, to rebuild the innings before a second batch of wickets ended their chances of posting a competitive score.
Praveen Kumar struck twice in an over to dismiss Stanikzai and Mohammad Nabi (0) and Zaheer Khan had Hamid Hasan caught by Nehra for six while Samiullah Shenwari was run out for seven.
In reply, India got off to a mixed start with Vijay racing away but Gambhir giving Nabi a catch at point and Shapoor Zadran a wicket.
Suresh Raina crashed 18 in 13 balls before he was trapped in front by leg-spinner Shenwari but Vijay, along with Yuvraj Singh, who played himself into some form with an unbeaten 23 in 22 balls, ensured that there were to be no slip-ups.
Vijay hammered three big sixes and two fours before he was caught on the boundary by Zadran as Hasan returned excellent figures of one for seven from three overs.
Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni then brought about a swift end to proceedings by smashing Nowroz Mangal for two successive sixes down the ground.
© Cricket World 2010