UNITED ARAB EMIRATES. Dubai: India defeats Afghanistan by 66 runs to keep their hopes alive for the qualification. Openers Rohit Sharma (74) and KL Rahul (69) shared a 140-run starting position, and Afghanistan couldn’t manage to fight to the level of expectations.
India opened their account by claiming two points after defeating Afghanistan in this match. After winning the toss Afghanistan decided to bowl first. The Indian team had 2 changes as Suryakumar Yadav came back in the place of Ishan Kishan and Ravichandran Ashwin replaced Varun Chakravarthy.
The Indian team was off to a blazing start as both their openers, Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul started punishing the Afghanistan bowlers right from the start. After the end of the mandatory powerplay, India was 53/0.
Indian openers Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul stitched up a 140 runs partnership to take India to 140/1 after 14.4 overs. Rohit Sharma scored a brilliant 74 off 47 deliveries which included 8 fours and 3 sixes whereas KL Rahul scored 69 off 48 deliveries which included 6 fours and 2 sixes.
After the fall of Indian openers, Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya went all guns blazing as they both were dealing in boundaries and sixes. Hardik Pandya scored 35 off 13 deliveries which included 4 fours and 2 sixes whereas Rishabh Pant scored 27 off 13 deliveries which included 1 four and 3 sixes to take India to their 2nd highest T20 World Cup total.
India scored 210/2 in their 20 overs. For Afghanistan, Gulbadin Naib and Karim Janat took 1 wicket each. India was looking to get Afghanistan bowled out for less than 99 runs so that their net run rate gets better than both Afghanistan and New Zealand. Afghanistan lost their first wicket very quickly as their dangerous batsman Mohammad Shehzad got out for a duck.
Soon after the wicket of Shehzad, Hazratullah Zazai got out and Afghanistan was struggling at 13/2 after 3.1 overs. Rahmatullah Gurbaz and Gulbadin Naib tried to resurrect the Afghanistan innings but failed to do so as Afghanistan kept losing quick wickets and at one stage they were 69/5 after 11.5 overs. Afghanistan skipper Mohammad Nabi scored 35 runs off 32 deliveries which included 2 fours and 1 six to help Afghanistan cross 100 runs mark.
Karim Janat was batting well but none of the Afghanistan batsmen were able to support him as Rashid Khan got out for a golden duck and Afghanistan was 130/7 after 19 overs. Karim Janat played a good knock of 42 runs off 22 deliveries which included 3 fours and 2 sixes. But it was a bit too late as India defeated Afghanistan. For India, Mohammad Shami took three wickets, Ravichandran Ashwin took two wickets and Jasprit Bumrah and Ravindra Jadeja took one wicket each.