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India win by 47 runs: Surya, Bumrah sizzle, Afghans fizzle

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AGENCY

BRIDGETOWN: Suryakumar Yadav played fearlessly on a testing surface before India tightened the noose around Afghanistan with a clinical bowling performance to script a commanding 47-run win in their opening Super 8 fixture of the T20 World Cup here on Thursday.
Rashid Khan (3/26) improved his ordinary record against India before Suryakumar (53 off 28) played like he only can to take his team to 181 for 8 after India decided to bat on a surface where it was difficult to hit through the line.
Afghanistan were never in the run chase and folded up for 134 in exactly 20 overs. The questionable shot selection from the Afghan batters contributed to their downfall, extending their winless run against India.
Jasprit Bumrah (3/7 in four overs) was too good for the opposition again while Kuldeep Yadav (2/32), playing his first game of the tournament, also made an impact.
India’s next Super 8 fixture against Bangladesh will take place in in Antigua on Saturday.
Rahmanullah Gurbaz (11 off 8), who announced his intent with a six and four off Arshdeep Singh, went for a rash shot against Bumrah in the second over of the innings to be caught behind. Hazratullah Zazai, brought into the squad in place of the injured Mujeeb Zadran, was Bumrah’s next victim as his attempted flick off a cutter from the Indian pace spearhead went straight into the safe hands of Ravindra Jadeja at backward point.
Kuldeep, who replaced Mohammed Siraj in the playing eleven, operated in the middle overs and sent back Gulbadin Naib (17) with a wrong one in the 11th over.
Azmatullah Omarzai (26 off 20) was the top-scored for Afghanistan.
The fall of wickets through the innings did not allow Afghanistan to get back in the game.
Earlier, Suryakumar was back to his nonchalant best and picked the boundaries at will on a track where the other batters struggled to get going. The other notable contributions came from Rishabh Pant (20 off 11), who too found the boundaries from the word go and Hardik Pandya (32 off 24).
Virat Kohli (24 off 24) got into the double digits for the first time in this tournament but was dismissed just when he was getting set.
Rashid (3/26), who had not picked up a wicket against India prior to this game, struck in his first three overs to put pressure on the opposition.
India expectedly opt to bat at the Kensington Oval and the way the ball held up on the pitch early one, it seemed playing through the line will be tough.
Skipper Rohit Sharma (8) tried to push the scoring rate in third over from Fazalhaq Farooqi (3/33) but was caught at mid-on after finding the toe end of his bat.
Rashid brought himself on right after the Powerplay with India reaching 47 for one. The star spinner sent back the dangerous Pant in the seventh over. The southpaw once again was not afraid to employ the sweep and audacious reverse sweep against the spinners before eventually falling to Rashid.
After Kohli was caught at long-off in Rashid’s second over, India felt the heat. Suryarkumar eased the tension with a flurry of sweeps against Rashid before the spinner got his third scalp in the form of Shivam Dube (10), who was trapped in front after the ball turned back in sharply and crashed into his back leg.
Surya kept finding the big hits from the other end. He outrageously whipped a wide full toss from Azmatullah Omarzai to deep square-leg before a six and four off Farooqi took him to a well made half-century.

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