By S Ahmed (NVONews.Com)
Man of the match Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh scripted India’s victory against the minnows Afghanistan by 23 runs in their first match of ICC World T20 Cup at the R. Premdasa Stadium, Colombo on Wednesday. But it was not a cakewalk for India.
India scored 159 runs in their stipulated 20 overs losing five wickets. In reply Afghanistan started well but faltered later and they were all out for 136 runs in 19.3 overs.
The Afghans lost the game but everybody would agree that they won the hearts. They lacked the experience to cash on the good start and just buckled under pressure.That is why they lost their last eight wickets for just 61 runs. Their strike bowlers were quite testing with their raw speed. Had their fielders been a bit alert, they could have tested the Indian batsmen more.
Afghan skipper Nawroz was quite happy with their performance but accepted that shot selection was a bit poor and that was why they lost the game. he also conceded that they could have done better in the field.
Kohli was consistent as usual. Kohli scored his half century in 38 balls with four fours and two sixes but was out on the next ball. Dawlat Zardan was the bowler who got him caught by Mohammad Nabi.
Yuvraj Singh did what he could not do with bat for his team. He took three wickets for 24 runs in his four overs. He first removed Nawroz Mangal lbw when Afghanistan’s score was 52 runs. Nawroz made 22 in 18 balls with the help of one four and a six each.
Karim Sadiq was also consumed by Yuvraj when the total scored 75. Karim made 26 runs in the same number of balls with three fours.
Mohammad Nabi was the top scorer for Afghanistan with his personal score of 31 runs in just 17 runs with two fours and sixes each. The spectators missed the promised helicopter shot from the MS of Afghanistan i.e. Mohammad Shahzad the keeper.He scored just 18 and was caught by Yuvraj off the bowling of L Balaji.
Afghanistan won the toss and chose to field and till the 4.1 overs they seemed doing quite well as India lost both their openers, Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag for 22 runs.
Shapoor Zardan consumed both the openers. Shapoor first cleaned bowled Gambhir at his personal score of 10. Sehwag was beautifully caught by Mohammad Shahzad behind the stump. Sehwag made 8.
Yuvraj Singh too fell without scoring much as this time Shapoor Zardan was involved with both of his hands taking catch off the bowling of Karim Sadiq. Yuvraj made 18.
Afghanistan’s reply was quite satisfactory till 11 overs but then the slide started. They lost three wickets in three runs and the score from 2-75 it became 5-76. They scored well but could not extend the partnership.
For India Zaheer Khan was quite a disappointment. He gave away 32 runs in three overs without any wicket. Irfan Pathan was steady with the figure of 4-0-29-1.