By Anmol Pundir

In a low-scoring tournament, India recorded the highest total, posting 210 onboard.

Rohit Sharma 74(47), KL Rahul 69(48) yielded 140 run opening stand to set the base for the total.

Afghanistan chasing a mountainous total could only get 144 runs in return, and India won the match by 66 runs. Rohit Sharma for his performance was given the man of the match award.

After losing two consecutive games, it was a must-win match for India with bleak of chances to qualify for the semi-finals.

Afghanistan opted to bat first, keeping in mind that dew might play some role in the latter part of the match.

The Indian team had tried to open pair in two matches but stuck to their main batters Rohit and Rahul against Afghanistan, and they did show why they have been the most relied upon pair for this team. Both the batters played all the shots in the book and had very different body language in this match.

Rashid Khan the key bowler of the Afghanistan team went wicketless and gave 36 runs in his 4 overs. Rishabh Pant 27(13) and Hardik Pandya 35(13) who were promoted above Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav on number 3 and number 4 also scored runs on the strike rate of above 200 finished the match as India wanted to be.

Net run rate will play a key role in India’s qualification and a total of more than 200 was needed for the team.

Afghanistan chasing down 211 was next to impossible task, and got impossible after losing their opening pair, known for attacking in 3 overs. Duo pacer Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami got the early breakthrough in the powerplay.

Ravichandran Ashwin (14/2) playing his match, replacing Varun Chakravarthy, and Ravindra Jadeja (19/1) did their job of not giving runs in the middle overs and were leading India towards a greater margin to get a hike in their net run-rate.

Skipper Mohammad Nabi 35(32) and Karim Janat 42(22), got 57 runs stand for the 6th
wicket and closed the margin of India’s victory to 66 runs.

India after winning their first match stands in 4th position above Namibia and Scotland.
Pakistan has officially qualified for semis, and New Zealand will play Namibia, and India will play Scotland on 5th November.

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