Virat, Yuvraj steer India to victory against Afghanistan

viratkohliColombo: Virat Kohli these days exit in a zone where he can do no wrong. On Wednesday, the youngster dished out another brilliant stuff from his willow (50 of 39 balls) that bailed India out from a precarious situation against minnows Afghanistan in their inaugural T20 World Cup match at R Premadasa Stadium. Thanks to his partnership with Suresh Raina and Yuvraj Singh, India posted a total of 159 and later Yuvraj Singh and R Ashwin spun a web around the Afghan batsmen to give India a 23 run win.

India started off badly, losing Gautam Gambhir on the first ball of third over with scoreboard reading just 15 and two overs later, Virender Sehwag too followed suit leaving the Men-In-Blue tottering at 22. Virat Kohli started the resurrection of Indian innings in the company of Yuvraj Singh and added 46 runs in six overs before Yuvraj was caught by Shapoor Zardan off Karim Sadiq at an individual score off 18. Then with Suresh Raina, Kohli steadied the innings further and added another 46 runs before being caught by Mohammad Nabi off Dawlat Zadran for 50.

Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni played a cameo towards the end, as he finished the Indian innings with a four and six of the last two deliveries to remain unbeaten on 18 from nine balls. The Indians were also helped by some poor fielding from a relatively inexperienced Afghanistan side as they dropped as many as four catches with Raina being dropped on two occasions.

In reply, Afghanistan played their heart out and gave some jitters to the Indian camp as took they match till the last over before getting all out for 136 in 19.3 overs.

After the seamers failed to do the requisite for their captain in the initial overs, it was Yuvraj who managed to get a wicket with his very first delivery and later in his second spell provided back-to-back breakthroughs, dismissing dangerous looking Karim Sadiq (26) and Asghar Stanikzai as Afghans, from a comfortable 75 for two, were suddenly left tottering at 75 for four and never really were in the match thereafter.

Yuvraj`s finished his bowling spell at three for 24, partly due to the couple of sixes he was hit in his final over. Ravichandran Ashwin too came up with a brilliant bowling (two for 20) that put pressure under which the opposition batsmen finally gave in. Laxmipathy Balaji finished it in the end with figures of three for 19 but he was also not at his best.


By Indian Sports News Network