*** ----> India crush Afghanistan in thriller | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

India crush Afghanistan in thriller

AFP | Bridgetown

The Daily Tribune - www.newsofbahrain.com

Suryakumar Yadav smashed a fine half-century before India’s bowlers slammed the brakes on Afghanistan’s flamboyant shot-makers to romp to a 47-run win in the T20 World Cup yesterday. Suryakumar’s 53 was his 19th fifty in the format and helped India post a challenging 181-8 in their second round Super Eights opener.

Experienced fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah then combined with spin trio Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja to strangle Afghanistan, seen by many as dark horses for the title, who were dismissed for 134 off the last ball. Afghanistan slipped quickly to 23-3 losing openers Rahmanullah Gurbaz (11) and Hazratullah Zazai (two) to the wily Bumrah while Patel sent back Ibrahim Zadran (eight).

Gulbadin Naib (17) and top-scorer Azmatullah Omarzai (26) put on 44 for the fourth wicket but once they fell to Kuldeep and Jadeja respectively, Afghanistan wilted in their chase. Bumrah finished with a career best 3-7 from his four overs while fellow seamer Arshdeep Singh took 3-36. Afghanistan, who won their opening three games in the group stage, have now lost backto-back matches.

In their last first round fixture, they suffered a humbling 104-run loss to the West Indies at St Lucia. India and Afghanistan will face Austraia and Bangladesh in their remaining Group 1 fixtures with the top two teams making the semi-finals. Suryakumar made 53 from 28 balls with five fours and three sixes and shared a 60-run fifth-wicket partnership with Hardik Pandya.

Skipper Rashid Khan and leftarm fast bowler Fazalhaq Farooqi both took three wickets for Afghanistan. Farooqi struck first for Afghanistan by having India skipper Rohit Sharma caught by Rashid for just eight. It was the 23-year-old Farooqi’s 50th career T20 international wicket.

Virat Kohli and Rishabh Pant put on 43 for the second wicket with Pant hitting three successive boundaries off Mohammad Nabi. His 11-ball cameo had yielded 20 runs when he was lbw to Rashid attempting an ill-judged reverse sweep. That left India on 54-2 before Rashid struck again in his next over, claiming the prestige scalp of Kohli who Nabi caught at long-off for 24 off 24 balls.

Kohli had at least made it to double figures after a miserable run of just five runs in his first three matches at the tournament. At the halfway point India were 79-3. Rashid was hit for a boundary and a six in the 11th over by Suryakumar. But the leg-spinner was soon celebrating his third wicket when he had Shivam Dube trapped lbw for 10.

Rashid finished with impressive figures of 3-26. Suryakumar and Pandya threatened to take the game away from Afghanistan. But Farooqi dismissed Suryakumar in the 17th over before Pandya, who made 32 from 24 balls with three fours and two sixes, fell to Naveen-ul-Haq off the last ball of the 18th over. Farooqi also sent back Jadeja to finish with 3-33 and take his tournament total to 15 wickets.