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ICC WT20: Clinical India register massive first win

India beat Afghanistan by 66 runs at the Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi to keep themselves alive in the ICC T20 World Cup.

On Wednesday night after being asked to bat, India posted a massive 210 for two in their 20 overs and in response Afghanistan could make only 144 for seven in their 20 overs.

Rohit Sharma speaks after India's victory over Afghanistan #T20WorldCup

© ICC / T20 World Cup

Earlier, India after being asked to bat started off well as their openers Rohit Sharma and Lokesh Rahul went beserk. The pair added the highest-ever partnership for India in T20 World Cups as they put on 140 runs for the first wicket. Rohit Sharma made a swift 74 off 47 balls with eight boundaries and three sixes. Rahul finished on 69 off 48 balls with six boundaries and two sixes. Both openers fell in quick succession. But then Rishabh Pant, promoted to number three and Hardik Pandya came in. This pair went crazy with their shot selection as they blasted fours and sixes at will. Pant finished on a swift 27 off 13 balls, whereas Pandya finished on 35 off 13 balls with four boundaries and two massive sixes. For Afghanistan none of the bowlers exerted any control. Naveen-ul-Haq went for 59 runs in his four overs. Rashid Khan conceded 36 runs in his four overs.

Rashid Khan speaks after India's victory over Afghanistan #T20WorldCup

© ICC / T20 World Cup

In their chase Afghanistan lost both their openers cheaply. Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Gulbadin Naib showed some spark. But a few dot balls later, Gurbaz lost his patience and gifted his wicket. Naib followed soon after. The asking rate kept climbing all the time. Afghanistan's batsmen just could not cope up with it. They struggled to keep pace with it. Ravichandran Ashwin returning to white ball cricket after four and a half years bowled well. He exerted a lot of pressure on the batsmen. The scoring rate dropped completely after the fall of Najibullah Zadran's wicket. In the end Afghanistan finished on 144 for seven to lose by 66 runs.

For India, the best bowlers were Mohammed Shami (3-32) was Ravichandran Ashwin (2-14).

India made two changes to their XI bringing in Ravichandran Ashwin and Suryakumar Yadav for Varun Chakravarthy and Ishan Kishan. Afghanistan brought in Sharafuddin Ashraf for retired Asghar Afghan.

Match Summary

India: 210-2 (20)
Fall of wickets: 1-140 (Rohit Sharma-14.4 ov), 2-147 (KL Rahul-16.3 ov)

Afghanistan: 144-7 (20)
Fall of wickets: 1-13 (Mohammad Shahzad-2.6 ov), 2-13 (Hazratullah Zazai-3.1 ov), 3-48 (Rahmanullah Gurbaz-6.5 ov), 4-59 (Gulbadin Naib-9.3 ov), 5-69 (Najibullah Zadran-11.5 ov), 6-126 (Mohammad Nabi-18.1 ov), 7-127 (Rashid Khan-18.3 ov)

Result: India won by 66 runs


Playing XI
India: Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli (captain), Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, R Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah

Afghanistan: Hazratullah Zazai, Mohammad Shahzad (wicket-keeper), Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi (captain), Sharafuddin Ashraf, Gulbadin Naib, Rashid Khan, Karim Janat, Naveen-ul-Haq, Hamid Hassan

Match details
Toss: Afghanistan, elected to field
Venue: Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi
Start time: 1800 hrs UAE time
Match officials: Paul Reiffel, Richard Kettleborough (On-field Umpires); Aleem Dar (TV Umpire); Langton Rusere (Reserve Umpire); David Boon (Match-referee)