Shivam Dube guides India home with 60 not out

By BD Naraayannkar

Mohali, (UNI) Shivam Dube’s fifty saw India pull off a comfortable victory over Afghanistan by six wickets in the first of the three-match T20I series at IS Bindra Stadium here on Thursday.

Sent into bat, Afghanistan were restricted to 158/5 with the help of tight bowling by the Indian bowlers on a good batting track.

Shivam came into bat when India were in trouble at 28/2 in 3.5 overs and forged a very good 45-run stand for the fourth wicket along with Jitesh Sharma, pushing India into a comfortable zone.

Dube used his opportunity by bowling and batting well on his comeback into Team India. After getting into the groove, Dube exhibited some entertaining shots, especially when he smashed Mohammad Nabi for a six-over mid-wicket.

Sharma fell playing a big shot for 31 off 20 balls with 5 boundaries, leaving India comfortable at 117/4 in 13.5 overs.

Dube scored the match-winning knock in 40 balls with 5 boundaries and 2 sixes and stayed at the crease till the end along with Rinku Singh who remained unbeaten 16 off 9 balls with 2 boundaries.

India began the chase by losing Captain Rohit Sharma for a duck in the second ball of the innings after being involved in a mixup with his opening partner Shubman Gill.

Gill (23 off 12 balls, 5x4s) struck 5 boundaries but his cameo was ended by Mujeeb ur Rahman.

After scoring just 36 runs off the powerplay, India upped the ante. Tilak Varma (26 off 22, 2x4s 1×6) became the second Indian batsman to get dismissed in the 20s.

Sent into bat, Afghanistan openers Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran sewed up a fifty-run partnership, but in 8 overs.

Both perished in the span of three balls, and debutant Rahmat Shah was cleaned up by Axar Patel for 3 in 6 balls. Afghanistan soon were reduced to 57/3 at the end of the 10th over.

Mohammad Nabi walked in and provided some momentum to the innings along with Azmatullah Omarzai. They punished Ravi Bishnoi who gave away 35 runs in his first three overs.

The duo forged a vital 68-run partnership for the fourth wicket, before pacer Mukesh Kumar cleaned up Azmatullah for 29 off 22 balls with 2 boundaries and a six. And then had Nabi caught by Rinku Singh for 42 off 27 balls with 2 boundaries and 3 sixes, in the 18th over.

However, Najibullah and Karim Janat hammered 5 boundaries in the last five overs to push the score near to 160.

For India Mukesh and Axar picked two wickets and Dube one.

Brief scores: Afghanistan: 158/5 in 20 overs (Mohammad Nabi 42; Axar Patel 2/23, Mukesh Kumar 2/33). India: 159 for four in 17.3 overs (Shivam Dube 60; Mujeev Ur Rahman 2/21).

Leave a Reply