India’s Rohit Sharma throws a coin while Afghanistan’s Hashmatullah Shahidi looks on at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi, India on October 11, 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup in India, India vs Afghanistan. | Image source:
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Rohit Sharma’s blazing shot lit up the Delhi sky as India beat Afghanistan by eight wickets in the World Cup match at the Arun Jaitley Stadium on Wednesday.
The captain’s 131 (84b, 16×4, 5×6) was the basis for the Men in Blue to post 273 for eight against Afghanistan’s 272 in 35 overs.
With Rohit unfurling his full range of batting and Ishan Kishan playing second fiddle, India sped away from the crease.
Fazalhaq Farooqi’s four-wicket haul whetted Rohit’s appetite and then the aesthetic disintegration of the Afghanistan attack began.
Mujeeb Ur Rahman is removed and the June 4 duopoly is revealed against Naveen-ul-Haq, Farooqi and Azmatul Azmatullah Omarzai.
Rohit quickly reached 50 in 30 deliveries. Kishan then swept and bowled Mohammad Nabi.
Even with Rashid Khan in the field, India’s opener continued with ease and Afghanistan’s spin threat disappeared.
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Glide to a landmark
Nabi’s gliding wicket followed by a single helped Rohit reach his 100 in just 63 balls.
Helmets were removed, heads turned to the sky, and bats raised in response to the cheers of teammates and fans.
The captain and his allies scored 156 for the first wicket when Kishan caught the ball from Rashid.
The crowd paused for a moment before pulling away to cheer home boy Virat Kohli for his effortless, stylish four and quick single at the crease. Even Rohit, after struggling to sweep Rashid and being sieged, could not stop India’s march to victory, with Virat (55) and Shreyas Iyer sailing smoothly.
Earlier in the afternoon, Afghanistan captain Hashmathullah Shahidi won the toss and elected to bat. It also helped that openers Rahmanullah Gubaz and Ibrahim Zadran seemed relaxed and something was off Mohammad Siraj’s radar. Ibrahim drove and flicked, Gulbaaz Gayle drove with energy.
The batsman then scalped Jasprit Bumrah for four but the speedster got his revenge to spark the advantage.
free his arms
When Hardik Pandya and Shardul Thakur were bowled, the latter replaced R. Ashwin into the eleven and Gubaaz released him arm, a punch and a high six followed. The angry bowlers then joined forces to dismiss the batsmen.
Hardik dug short, Gulbaaz hooked, Shardul, who was standing at fine leg, lost his balance, but caught the ball, threw it in the air, over the rope, jumped back inside and caught it again. Later, Shardul scalped Rahmat Shah.
With a trio of 63 in 13.1 overs, Afghanistan needed a steady partnership while India pushed the spin through Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja.
Shahidi and Azmatullah initiated the strike, with the latter finally freeing himself from the Twister’s clutches.
When the seamer came back, Shahidi swung and struck straight and Azmatullah picked up the mid-wicket fence.
The duo added 121 runs for the fourth wicket when Hardik struck Azmatullah (62) and later Kuldeep trapped Shahidi (80).
India seized the initiative and kept it that way for the rest of the night, with Rohit being the brightest star.
Afghanistan: Scored 272 runs for 8 in 50 overs (Hashmatullah Shahidi 80, Azmatullah Omarzai 62; Jasprit Bumrah 4/39).
India: Scored 273 for 2 in 35 overs (Rohit Sharma 131, Virat Kohli 55 not out, Ishan Kishan 47; Rashid Khan 2/57).
India: Rohit Sharma (captain), Ishan Kishan, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Lokesh Rahul, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj
Afghanistan: Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Ibrahim Zadran, Rahmat Shah, Hashmathullah Shahidi (captain), Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad ·Nabi, Azmatullah Omarzai, Rashid Khan, Mujibur-ur-Rehman, Naveen-ul-Haq, Fazal-ul-Haq Farooqi