Submitted by Amith Chakrapani on Fri, 06/21/2024 - 19:02

India topple Afghanistan emphatically in Super Eight opener

21 Jun, 2024
India topple Afghanistan emphatically in Super Eight opener
21 Jun, 2024 By Editor

Team India were off to a rollicking start to their Super Eight campaign as they took down Afghanistan emphatically despite a jittery start. With one change to the side that saw Kuldeep Yadav coming in place of Mohammed Siraj, the Men in Blue had a plan in place to combat the new conditions in Barbados.

Winning the toss, Rohit Sharma opted to bat first and the Men in Blue really didn’t get the start they were looking for. The Indian captain fell for a paltry eight while the introduction of Rishabh Pant did up the scoring rate but barely.

Not long after, India suffered a double whammy as Pant (20) and Virat Kohli (24) fell in quick succession, leaving India wobbling at 62/3. It was the arrival of Suryakumar Yadav that turned the tide.

Shivam Dube looked good early but was quick to fall as Rashid Khan continued to breathe fire. India found the stabilizers in SKY and an incoming Hardik Pandya. Suryakumar Yadav was at his ingenious best, packing a flurry of incredible strokes all around the park while Hardik was happy to play second fiddle to SKY’s brilliance.

The duo piled up 60 runs for the fifth wicket stand as Surya posted another rippling half-century which came in just 28 balls. Eventually the return of Fazalhaq Farooqi rattled the partnership as the former holed out to Mohammad Nabi.

With the fall of SKY, the scoring rate dampened out briefly but once again a late lunge from Axar Patel who blasted 12 off just six allowed India to post 181 which was an above-par score on the pitch.

Shooting down a total north of 180 on a surface that had its own shenanigans, Afghanistan was off to a flyer, courtesy of Rahmanullah Gurbaz. However, India was quick to get off the block as well with Jasprit Bumrah providing the opening breakthrough.

Hazratullah Zazai (2) who wanted to join the groove too, came down dashing while only getting a faint nick that was comfortably pouched by Rishabh Pant. Things spiralled out of control for the Afghan top-order as they lost Gurbaz (11) and an incoming Ibrahim Zadran (8) too in very little succession.

Wobbling at 23/3, Gulbadin Naib (17) and Azmatullah Omarzai (26) did manage to steady the ship for Afghanistan but the job was far from over when Kuldeep managed to get the better of Naib.

The frowns intensified further in the Afghan dugout as Ravindra Jadeja removed Azmatullah in short succession. With the odds recklessly high, the match was heavily tipped in India’s favour. Najibullah Zadran (19) and Mohammmad Nabi (14) did stitch a last straw of resistance but it was just a matter of time before India snuffed out the other half of Afghanistan.

Arshdeep Singh and Jasprit Bumrah spearheaded the charge with three wickets each while Kuldeep Yadav claimed two wickets to skittle out Afghanistan for 134. Suryakumar Yadav was adjudged the Player of the Match for his defining half-century.