Dube, Jaiswal fifties help India clinch series

Indore, Jan 14 (UNI) Scintillating fifties by Yashasvi Jaiswal and Shivam Dubey helped India clinch the three-match T20I series at the historic Holkar Cricket Stadium here on Sunday.

Dube was particularly severe on the spinners, especially when he took on an experienced Mohammad Nabi apart for three consecutive sixes, and forged ahead without breaking too much of a sweat. He cracked his back-to-back half-century (63*) in 32 balls with 5 boundaries and 4 sixes and stayed till the end to guide India to a six-wicket victory.

Jaiswal, on the flip side, made himself busy, looking to score quickly throughout his innings. He clobbered Mujeeb ur Rahma and Noor Ahmad, getting to a 27-ball fifty. He was caught Gurbaz off Karim Janat for 68 in 34 balls with 5 boundaries and 6 sixes.

Captain Rohit Sharma failed once again as he was dismissed for a duck in the last two innings. In the first T20I match, he was run out in a mixup with his opening partner Shubman Gill.

Virat Kohli, who made himself available for this match, scored a brisk 29 before falling to Naveen-ul-Haq. He stitched a 57-run partnership with Jaiswal to put India in command.

Karim Janat produced a magical first over by picking up two wickets of Jaiswal and Jitesh Sharma, but it did not trouble India to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series.

Earlier, Rohit sent Afghanistan into bat, and they managed to get their highest T20I score of 172 all out, which was not enough on a ‘paataa’ pitch.

Openers Rahmanullah Gurbaz (14) and Ibrahim Zadran (8) started nicely and put on 20 runs in 2.2 overs before Ravi Bishnoi broke the partnership.

Gulbadin Naib walked in at No.3, counter-attacked from the word go and hammered 57 in 35 balls with 5 boundaries and 4 sixes to put Afghanistan in a good position near the halfway stage.

However, Axar Patel returned and picked up the wicket of the allrounder in his last over. In the follow-up, things got tardy as new batsmen could find their groove.

The visitors needed a late dash from Mujeeb to get to this score, otherwise they could have folded sooner.

For India, Axar was the star bowler, and Bishnoi was a tad expensive but took two crucial wickets. Arshdeep Singh augmented his death overs credentials by ending with 3/32 after going wicketless in the first spell.

Brief scores: Afghanistan 172 in 20 overs (Gulbadin Naib 57; Arshdeep Singh 3-32, Axar Patel 2-17) lost to India 173/4 in 15.4 overs (Yashasvi Jaiswal 68, Shivam Dube 63*; Karim Janat 2-13) by 6 wickets.

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