New Delhi. Team India gave a strong performance, defeating Afghanistan (India vs Afghanistan) by 66 runs in the Super-12 stage match played in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday. In this way, the team captained by Virat Kohli registered its first victory in the T20 World Cup 2021. India made a huge score of 210 runs in the stipulated 20 overs for the loss of 2 wickets, which is also the highest score of the current tournament. After this, Afghanistan team could score only 144 runs in 20 overs for the loss of 7 wickets.
For India, opener Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul batted in a strong manner. Both scored half-centuries and shared an opening partnership of 140 runs. Rohit scored the highest 74 runs for the team. He hit 8 fours and 3 sixes in his innings of 47 balls. At the same time, Rahul contributed 69 runs in 48 balls with the help of 6 fours and 2 sixes. Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya also batted in a stormy manner and also shared an unbeaten 63-run partnership for the third wicket. Pant scored 27 runs in 13 balls with the help of 1 four and 3 sixes, while Pandya scored 35 runs with 4 fours and 2 sixes.
Chasing the big target of 211 runs, the Afghanistan team started poorly and their 2 wickets fell to the score of 13 runs. Mohammad Shahzad (0) was caught by pacer Mohammed Shami at the hands of Ravichandran Ashwin while Hazratullah Zazai (13) was caught by Shardul Thakur off Jasprit Bumrah. Rahmanullah Gurbaz (19) was victimized by Ravindra Jadeja. Then Gulbadin Naib (18) was sent to the pavilion by Ashwin. Ashwin bowled Najibullah Zadran (11) to make the team’s score 69 for 5 wickets.
Earlier, Afghanistan won the toss and invited India to bat first. Rohit Sharma and Lokesh Rahul made a strong partnership, due to which the score became 85 runs in 10 overs. Both shared an opening partnership of 140 runs. Rohit was dismissed by Karim Janat in the 15th over of the innings and broke this partnership. Then Gulbadin bowled Rahul on the third ball of the 17th over. Hardik Pandya and Rishabh Pant put on a flamboyant 63-run partnership for the third wicket in 3.3 overs as India took 119 runs in the last 9 overs.
In this match of ‘Do or Die’, none of Afghanistan’s bowlers could trouble India’s batsmen. Rohit also hit left-arm spinner Sharafuddin Ashraf for a four in the first over of captain Nabi. Rahul also hit sixes and fours on consecutive balls of Sharafuddin. In the 5th over, Rohit scored 17 runs on fast bowler Naveen-ul-Haq with two fours and a six and took the team’s score beyond 50 runs. India scored 53 runs in the power play without losing a wicket, which is their best performance so far in the tournament.
Rohit and Rahul did not have any problem in rotating the strike in the middle overs and both did not hesitate to teach a lesson to the bad ball. Rohit completed his half-century in 37 balls with a four on Naveen in the 12th over. Rahul took the team’s score beyond 100 runs with a six in the same over. 16 runs were scored in this over. Rahul completed his half-century in 35 balls with a four on Gulbadin in the next over. In the 14th over, Rohit hit two consecutive sixes on the star leg-spinner Rashid.
To break this partnership, Nabi gave the ball to Karim Janat (one wicket for seven runs) in the 15th over. Rahul welcomed the fast bowler with a four but Rohit gave the catch to Nabi at extra cover. After this Gulbadin (one wicket for 39 runs) gave another blow to India by bowling Rahul. Rishabh Pant showed his attitude with two consecutive sixes in the same over while Hardik Pandya hit three fours on Hamid.
Najibullah Zadran dropped the catch of Pandya in Naveen’s next over. Taking advantage of life, Pandya scored 19 runs on Naveen with two sixes. This fast bowler conceded 59 runs in four overs. Rishabh Pant took the team’s score beyond 200 runs in the last over with fours and sixes off consecutive balls of Hamid.