T20 World Cup: India cruise past Afghanistan in Super Eight opener

Jasprit Bumrah of India celebrates a wicket.
Jasprit Bumrah of India celebrates a wicket. Photo credit: Getty Images

India have swept to a 47-run victory over Afghanistan in their T20 World Cup 'Super Eight' clash, after Suryakumar Yadav struck his second successive half-century and Jasprit Bumrah proved his worth with the ball.

Player-of-the-match Suryakumar's audacious 53 from 28 balls propelled India to a daunting 181/8. In reply, Afghanistan were always behind the required run rate and finished on 134 all out from the final ball of the match.

Fast bowler Bumrah proved virtually unplayable, taking 3/7 from his four overs.

Afghanistan left-arm paceman Fazalhaq Farooqi and off-spinner Mohammad Nabi opened the bowling on a hot, humid day at Kensington Oval.

India captain Rohit Sharma survived an impassioned appeal for leg before wicket off Farooqi, when he missed with an ungainly heave to the legside, but he lasted only five balls more, before skying a catch to Afghanistan captain Rashid Khan at midon to be out for eight.

Naveen-ul-Haq replaced Farooqi and Virat Kohli, who had scored only five runs in his previous three matches, whipped him imperiously through the covers and lofted a six straight over the bowler's head, hitting the sightscreen.

Rishabh Pant reverse-swept Nabi for four and was then dropped on the boundary by Naveen. The ball crossed the boundary and at the end of the powerplay India were 47/1.

Rashid took the ball and struck in his first over, dismissing Pant for 20 with his final delivery, leg before wicket, attempting a reverse-sweep.

He struck again in his second over, when Kohli, on 24, lofted the ball straight to Nabi on the longoff boundary and then dismissed Shivam Dube, lbw for 10. Suryakumar seized the initiative back for India, with two boundaries off Azmatullah Omarzai and a straight six.

Hardik Pandya (32) joined in with a four and a straight six off successive balls from Noor Ahmed. The pair raised their 50 partnership, before Suryakumar was caught, but Hardik hit a six onto the top of the Terrace Stand to maintain India's momentum. 

Ravindra Jadeja in action against Afghanistan.
Ravindra Jadeja in action against Afghanistan. Photo credit: Getty Images

Afghanistan lost three wickets in the powerplay, including opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz, caught behind for 11, off Bumrah, who also dismissed Hazratullah Zazai for two. They fell steadily behind the required run and still needed 81 off five overs, when Bumrah returned.

He struck immediately by dismissing Najibullah Zadran, caught for 19, to quash any Afghanistan hopes of an unlikely victory.

"We adapted well and got 180, which was a great effort from the bowlers," said Rohit, as India remained unbeaten in the tournament.

"We had class bowlers, who defended it perfectly. We know Bumrah's class and what he can do."

India 181/8 (Yadav 53, Pandya 32, Kohli 24; Rashid 3/26, Fazalhaq 3/33) Afghanistan 134 (Azmatullah 26; Bumrah 3/7, Arshdeep 3/36)

India win by 47 runs