T20 Reviews: India Vs Afghanistan | T20 Cricket World Cup

May 2, 2010 by admin

Venue/Date: Beausejour Stadium, St Lucia, 1 May 2010.

India won toss and elected to field

T20 debut: Murali Vijay (India)

Player of the match Ashish Nehra

Result: India won by 2 wkts.

India cruised to an easy seven wicket win against Afghanistan at St Lucia in their ICC World T20 opener on Saturday. Chasing a modest total (116), the champions of the inaugural edition romped home with 31 balls to spare.

India began on an aggressive note, Murali Vijay a boundary over mid-off followed by a maximum over deep midwicket off Dawlat Ahmadzai’s first over. However, the bowler struck in his second over, having Gautam Gambhir (4) caught by Mohammad Nabi at cover point. Shapoor Zadran was miserly in his first couple of overs, giving away just six runs. Despite losing Gautam Gambhir early, Raina and Murali Vijay have kept the scoreboard ticking along at a good pace in pursuit of a victory.

Samiullah Shenwari trapped Suresh Raina in front of the wickets to give Afghanistan more reason to cheer in their opening encounter against India. Vijay has carried on from where he left in the IPL while Yuvraj Singh seems like getting back to some kind of touch with India nicely placed for a win against Afghanistan. The Vijay-Yuvraj partnership then took over the proceedings, with the former hitting successive sixes over long-off off Nabi.

Hamid Hassan got Murali Vijay to hole out to Shapoor Zadran in the deep after the opener cracked 48 to help India land on the door-steps of an easy win. In came captain MS Dhoni (15 not out) and he ensured an early end, smashing successive sixes off his Afghanistan counterpart Nowroz Mangal.

Earlier, batting first Afghanistan were able to make 115 for eight. Ashish Nehra picked up three wickets and Praveen Kumar pocketed two as Afghanistan found themselves all at sea against India at St Lucia.

That’s the first one down for Afghanistan. Karim Sadiq tried to pull one away from Nehra but ended up gloving it to MS Dhoni behind the stumps. Mohammad Shehzad goes and Nehra gets his second wicket. The ball seemed to brush past the helmet on its way to Dhoni but India will take it. Ravindra Jadeja has struck in his first over. Nowroz Mangal tried to go over mid-off but holed out to Gautam Gambhir.

Noor Ali’s 68-run partnership (off 11 overs) for the fourth wicket with Asghar Stanikzai (30) laid the foundation of the debutants’ total – after they were struggling at 29 for three early on. A calculated half century by Noor Ali Zadran helped Afghanistan to a respectable total. Noor Ali’s 48-ball 50, inclusive of four hits to the fence, was the most significant contribution in the Afghan innings with the batsman playing the sheet anchor’s role to perfection. Stanikzai’s 33-ball kncok included three massive sixes.

MS Dhoni, though, decided to give his spinners a healthy bowl – with immediate effect. Nowroz Mangal, Afghanistan’s captain, didn’t get a flowing start and ended up hitting Ravindra Jadeja’s fourth delivery straight down mid-off’s lap. A wicket-maiden, followed by three more tight overs, was a good way to come back to high-profile cricket for Jadeja, who was dubiously banned from the IPL.

Except Noor Ali and Stanikzai nobody able to make any impression. Later in their inning, Zaheer Khan, who bowled the last over of the innings got rid of Hamid Hassan, the right-hander holing out to Nehra.

Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni has already warned his star-studded legion not to underestimate Afghanistan and teammate Yuvraj was also worried about the X-factor of their opponents, who have caught the imagination of the world over the last two years.

Brief scores:

India: 116 for 3 in 14.5 overs (Vijay 48, Yuvraj 23, Hammid 1-8)
Afghanistan 115 for 8 in 20 overs (Noor 50, Nehra 3-19)

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