Summary: KL Rahul led-India were asked to bat first, Virat Kohli starred with his first T20I century supported by Rahul (62). India piled on 212/2 and a worn-out Afghanistan were blown away by Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s 5/4. Afghanistan never really recovered and lost by 101 runs.
Some more words from Kohli after winning the the player of the match:
Time away from the game gave me a good chance to sit back and observe a lot of things about me. I mentioned one special person - Anushka - who stood by me through these tough times and I mentioned her as she has seen the absolute raw side of me throughout all these months.
She was the one putting things in perspective for me, kept giving me the right kind of guidance, vision moving forward and I came back into the system as relaxed person.
I batted out of my skin tonight, to be honest. I surprised myself. What actually surprised me was that my 60s being counted as failures. But god has been very kind to me.
India captain KL Rahul: Coming back after a big injury and surgery, I have realised playing the last few games it is not as easy as you think. I was eager to come and play but obviously finding the same touch or same rhythm wasn’t coming easily as I thought it would. It is a learning for me as a player, happy I could spend some time in the middle and I started feeling good.
Tough one for Afghanistan, as reiterated by their captain.
Afghanistan captain Mohammad Nabi: It was really tough to play Pakistan the other night, tight game and straightaway next game is against India, totally tough. We weren’t mentally prepared for that game. We tried our best to prepare but the boys were not ready mentally. Today we tried our best, with the way KL Rahul and Kohli started, we dropped catches also and in the batting we didn’t expect that much swing. As a captain with the way we started the tournament was on a high morale, we didn’t finish well but we played well.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar: It was my day as I was getting the wickets (in the powerplay). If you look at the white ball it doesn’t swing much, but it did swing a lot today. I think wherever I was bowling, I was getting wickets.
Some heartwarming reactions from India for Kohli’s 71st:
In the only match in the tournament that India did not find themselves in a last-over finish, they provided a dominating and ruthless display of performance. However, it came way after things were done and dusted and they were knocked out in a tournament they were favourites in. They will take the positives, especially that of Kohli leading the run charts but they will go back to the drawing board for more.
INDIA win by 101 runs! Massive margin of victory for India, thanks to Kohli and Bhuvneshwar.They end a disappointing campaign on a winning note.
AFG 111/8 (20 overs): Karthik had a go with the ball here and Ibrahim uses it for some batting practice but in the end to finish with an unbeaten 64.
FIFTY for Ibrahim Zadran! Something to smile about for Afghanistan and its fans.
AFG 88/7 (18 overs): 8 runs and a wicket off the over for Ashwin. Meanwhile, Afghanistan just hanging by a thread here as India stare at a massive win.
WICKET! 17.4: Mujeeb Ur Rahman 18(13) b Ravichandran Ashwin, Afghanistan 87/8 The carrom ball does the trick as it shatters the middle stump and Mujeeb has to depart.
AFG 80/7 (17 overs): Ibrahim Zadran is holding on, to ensure his team sees the 20 overs through. Chahar ends his spell with 4-0-28-0.
AFG 73/7 (16 overs): Finally, some release from Afghanistan. A reverse sweep for four to take on Ashwin’s carrom ball and a lofted six over long on. 10 runs off the over.
AFG 63/7 (15 overs): Five overs to go for the game but Afghanistan are struggling to hurry the process here. Chahar hasn’t looked very threatening in his three overs so far, despite the swing on offer early on. Six runs off this over.
A rather dull phase of the game after the madness Kohli and Bhuvneshwar subjected us to but Afghanistan would want this to be over with more than any of us, especially after those gruelling 24 hours.
WICKET! 13.1: Rashid Khan 15(19) ct Axar Patel b Deepak Hooda, Afghanistan 54/7 Hooda finally comes on to bowl in the tournament and he gets a wicket off his first delivery. All-rounder Deepak Hooda!
AFG 47/6 (13 overs): If only Axar can contain that boundary ball... keeps the over tight before Ibrahim sneaks in a late cut. 7 runs off it.
AFG 47/6 (12 overs): Ashwin far more economical as he concedes no boundary. Just 4 runs off it.
AFG 43/6 (11 overs): Halfway through the game and Afghanistan are batting at about just 4 RPO. Rashid Khan gets two boundaries in that over against Axar, 9 runs off it.
AFG 34/6 (10 overs): Ashwin introduced for his first over and it is spin from him and Axar Patel from both ends. Afghanistan keeping the scoreboard ticking but at this point, there is not much they are looking to do with more than half their line up in the hut.
Spare a thought for Afghanistan though. They were crushed by an absolutely crazy finish against Pakistan last night, a game that was in touching distance of victory that they lost by one wicket. They processed that, travelled from Sharjah to Dubai, only to find themselves on the receiving end of India’s ruthlessness. Cricket!
Bhuvneshwar Kumar picks a FIVE-FOR four! Brilliant stuff.
WICKET! 6.5: Azmatullah Omarzai 1(6) ct Dinesh Karthik b Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Afghanistan 21/6 In his penultimate delivery of the spell, Bhuvneshwar Kumar gets the knuckle ball to to deceive Omarzai to get his fifth wicket.
AFG 21/5 (6 overs): Arshdeep holds up the pressure Bhuvneshwar has built so well. Barely anything to pounce on, barring the last delivery that is drifting down the leg side. The end of powerplay and one feels like sparing a thought for Afghanistan, who look absolutely done.
WICKET! 5.5: Mohammad Nabi 7(7) lbw Arshdeep Singh, Afghanistan 20/5 And they are falling like nine pins here. Arshdeep joins the party as the skipper has to depart to an inswinger that has trapped him lbw.
AFG 18/4 (4 overs): Superb from Bhuvneshwar again. Just one run conceded and almost gets skipper Nabi plumb, who reviews it immediately and is saved by the umpire’s call.
AFG 18/4 (4 overs): Nabi gets his first runs with the cover drive off Chahar. Playing second fiddle to Bhuvneshwar here but the pressure is nearly not enough when he is bowling. 9 runs off it.
AFG 7/4 (3 overs): Two wickets and just two runs conceded. In his two over spell so far, Bhuvneshwar Kumar has 4/3. Afghanistan really struggling to keep up with the pressure of the target.
WICKET! 2.6: Najibullah Zadran 0(2) lbw Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Afghanistan 9/4 Bhuvneshwar Kumar with his fourth! Two wickets in his first over and two wickets in his second from the senior pacer. In all honesty, he too needed this performance to bolster his confidence after the Sri Lanka game. Brilliant comeback.
WICKET! 2.4: Karim Janat 2(4) ct Virat Kohli b Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Afghanistan 9/3 Bhuvneshwar Kumar gets his third, he is on a roll! Just a little bit shape away, thick edge to Kohli who is back on the field and is in the thick of things right away.
AFG 7/2 (2 overs): Ibrahim Zadran sneaks in the boundary in the final delivery of the over from Deepak Chahar. 6 runs off it.
AFG 1/2 (1 over): That is the result of the scoreboard pressure mounting on Afghanistan but that was as good a first over as it can get from Bhuvneshwar Kumar. The solitary run off it and both the openers back in the hut. India right on top.
WICKET! 0.6: Rahmanullah Gurbaz 0(1) b Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Afghanistan 1/2 An absolute jaffa from Bhuvneshwar. A dream start for India as the stumps are crashed again.
WICKET! 0.4: Hazratullah Zazai 0(4) lbw Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Afghanistan 0/1 A length delivery hat crashes right into Zazai’s leg-stump from Bhuvneshwar and India begin in strong fashion.
Hazratullah and Rahmanullah are out in the middle for Afghanistan and they have quite a chase on their hands!
Virat Kohli: “I feel very blessed, grateful right now... this is the format I was least expecting a century from. It’s very special... This ton is specially dedicated to Anushka and our daughter. When I came back from the break, I felt my old rhythm was coming back.”
India innings: The drought was long but if T20I was the format that would break it for him, one would hardly believe it but Virat Kohli has his 71st century and his first in the format. The approach India adopted was different from the one they did in the tournament today as it was relatively quieter but Kohli and Rahul found their rhythm, they quickly switched gears. That century-partnership for the first wicket followed by the 87-run partnership between Kohli and Pant ensured India finish with a massive total against Afghanistan.
IND 212/2 (20 overs): 6, 6, 4 from Kohli to add to Afghanistan and Farooqi’s misery. 18 runs in the last over and India finish with a colossal 212/2. Kohli remains unbeaten with 122* off 61.
CENTURY for VIRAT KOHLI! Ladies and gentlemen, it’s the moment we were waiting for. Century no 71 is here and how. A six over deep midwicket and it is his first to in T20Is and it is followed by a calm, serene celebration from him.
IND 175/2 (18 overs): Axar Patel in the dressing room because Kohli has got them hyped. Two fours in that over and 15 runs against Farooqi.
IND 160/2 (17 overs): Kohli is in the zone! Truly. First flicks the the low full toss over short fine for four and follows it up with another through the leg. 15 runs off the over. Number 71, anyone?
IND 145/2 (16 overs): A stunning hit from Kohli for six as he dances down the track to deposit the ball into the stands! The pressure had to be released and this six does that. Pant, however, must go harder at the ball.
IND 145/2 (15 overs): Afghanistan have managed to bring down the scoring rate for a brief bit after the Rahul and Suryakumar’s departure. Just the four runs off this Mujeeb over. Time to release the pressure now with five overs to go.
IND 130/2 (14 overs): Just five runs off Rashid Khan’s third over. He is wicketless but the most economical of the lot so far. Pant smashes the second delivery for a boundary.
IND 125/2 (13 overs): Quite an eventful over from Fareed Ahmed here. Two sixes and two big wickets.
WICKET! 12.6: Suryakumar Yadav 6(2) b Fareed Ahmad, India 125/2 Six and out as well. A brilliant way to get off the mark, classic Surya style but he is bowled in the next delivery.
WICKET! 12.4: K L Rahul 62(41) ct Najibullah Zadran b Fareed Ahmad, India 119/1 Six and out. The 119-run opening stand comes to an end. Rahul does not get the timing on the pull shot and Najibullah catches it on long-on.
IND 111/0 (12 overs): FIFTY for KL Rahul! Two back-to-back boundaries from the captain and he is now looking good to make it big here. If Kohli needed that confidence, so did Rahul and this innings is likely to give him that.
IND 95/0 (11 overs): FIFTY for Virat Kohli! That’s his 3rd fifty of the Asia Cup 2022. Is he back? Looks like he is. The range is better, the strike rate is better and so is the footwork. Good signs.
IND 87/0 (10 overs): A boundary-less over but India’s scoring at over 8.7 RPO at the moment and the scoreboard is wicketless with India steadily ticking at the halfway stage.
IND 80/0 (9 overs): Rashid Khan is back on and Kohli plays a classic inside-out for four over extra cover. Eight runs off the over.
IND 72/0 (8 overs): Kohli almost finds Ibrahim Zadran in the deep but that’s a chance missed for Afghanistan and it’s a six. 11 runs off the captain Nabi’s over. So, India haven’t lost a wicket in the powerplay and beyond... that’s interesting. It’s a measured approach and safe but can it work against all teams?
IND 61/0 (7 overs): Rashid Khan in his first over and Rahul pulls his fourth delivery into the stands for a six. Now, that is a match-up we like.
IND 52/0 (6 overs): The pressure was mounting with Kohli scoring 10 off as many deliveries and he releases it in this over against Mujeeb. Comes down the track to punish the half-volley for four first and then finds the gap with a sweep in the fourth delivery for another. In the following delivery, he comes down the track again to strike the googly for a six. 15 runs off the over.
IND 37/0 (5 overs): Rohit may not be here but the pull shots are. KL Rahul with two boundaries off that over against Fareed Ahmad.
IND 28/0 (4 overs): An otherwise tight over from Mujeeb is ruined by that boundary Rahul scored through backward square leg in the last delivery. 7 runs off the over. Stable but relatively quiet start from India.
IND 21/0 (3 overs): India’s first boundaries of the match as both Rahul and Kohli sneak one each. Kohli almost falls for a fifth stump line delivery right after scoring one but there is no fielder in the slips.
IND 9/0 (2 overs): Spin almost immediately from Afghanistan. Mujeeb ur Rahman keeps the Indian openers quiet with just three overs conceded.
IND 6/0 (1 over): Back after a tough last night, Fazalhaq Farooqi opens the attack for Afghanistan. 6 runs off the first over.
The players are out in the middle and alongside KL Rahul is Virat Kohli opening for India.
India head coach Rahul Dravid: T20 Cricket, the margins are so small. I know we won the first game, it’s not that after we won that tight game against Pakistan, it’s not that everything was perfect. We’ve lost a couple of games which have gone down honestly on a wicket where it’s not been easy to defend. Let’s be honest. We’ve taken the games down to the last over and I’m not using that as an excuse. You know, I still think we should have gone over got over the line at least in one of those games. I mean, it’s not that we would have been perfect as a side and just because we’ve lost a couple of close games doesn’t mean we are a terrible team. We were playing some pretty good cricket over the last eight months, nine months.
It will be even more interesting to see who opens for India alongside KL Rahul – Deepak Hooda, Virat Kohli or Rishabh Pant?
Interesting. India’s selections still continue to pose questions. India wanted to rest some players, considering the heat and the upcoming World Cup, which is fair but it makes one wonder why India have decided to leave out Ravi Bishnoi and opt to play without two leg-spinners.
India Playing XI: KL Rahul(c), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant(w), Deepak Hooda, Dinesh Karthik, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Deepak Chahar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Arshdeep Singh
Afghanistan Playing XI: Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmanullah Gurbaz(w), Ibrahim Zadran, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi(c), Karim Janat, Rashid Khan, Azmatullah Omarzai, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Fareed Ahmad Malik, Fazalhaq Farooqi
Afghanistan captain Mohammad Nabi: We left the game (vs Pakistan) immediately and went to the hotel last night. Took a few sleeping pills, it was a tough night. We have played well in the tournament, we could have won the last two games. We will try our best to play some good cricket.
India captain KL Rahul: We wanted to bat first. We want to challenge ourselves as a batting unit. Rohit wants to take a break, playing is not easy in these conditions. Coming into this tournament, we had the T20 World Cup in mind. It’s a good learning for us to play such a tournament before the World Cup. We have learnt a few things from the loses.
TOSS: Afghanistan win the toss and opt to field first.
No Rohit Sharma today. KL Rahul to lead India.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of the Asia Cup 2022 Super 4 clash between India and Afghanistan at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
Naseem Shah’s last-over sixes helped Pakistan pulled off a thrilling one-wicket win over Afghanistan on Wednesday to set up an Asia Cup final against Sri Lanka, knocking out both India and Afghanistan in the process. Less than 24 hours later after that intense battle, Afghanistan will take on India, who were on the receiving end of an inspiring chase by Sri Lanka on Tuesday.
Today’s encounter is a dead rubber but it is important to once again reiterate the importance of testing out team combinations, players and match-ups in these high-quality matches ahead of the T20 World Cup in Australia next month.
India: KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma(c), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant(w), Deepak Hooda, Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Arshdeep Singh, Dinesh Karthik, Axar Patel, Avesh Khan, Ravi Bishnoi
Afghanistan: Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmanullah Gurbaz(w), Ibrahim Zadran, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi(c), Karim Janat, Azmatullah Omarzai, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Fareed Ahmad Malik, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Samiullah Shinwari, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Afsar Zazai, Usman Ghani, Naveen-ul-Haq, Noor Ahmad