Day 1 of 1
India win by 23 runs

India vs Afghanistan

Commentary

Last Updated: September 20, 2012 2:59pm

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    End of innings

    Afghanistan have lost to India, but they have done so with their honour and dignity intact. It's pointless to dwell on the 'what-ifs', but if Afghanistan had held their catches and hadn't bowled quite so many wides, they could have won this. India will be pleased with the win, but they've got plenty to mull over. The batting, Kohli aside, looked a little uninspired, while the bowling unit didn't look like worldbeaters. Afghanistan can take plenty of heart from their performance. They're a vastly improved side from the group that turned up at the last World Twenty20 two years ago. England beware!

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    Over 20 - Afg 136

    Balaji torments Naib with the short ball, the batsman eventually splicing a slog to be caught in the covers. A pinpoint yorker rattles the stumps the very next ball, and the match is over.

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    Over 19 - Afg 136/8 (Naib 5, Shapoor 8)

    Pathan looks to close out the game as he keeps Naib quiet with a succession of short deliveries, but Shapoor keeps Afghanistan hoping with two clobbered fours off the last two balls. They need 24 from the last over ... It's not impossible.

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    Over 18 - Afg 126/8 (Naib 4, Shapoor 0)

    WICKET! Well, it looks like Najibullah can bat as he spanks Balaji to the cover boundary to get off the mark. It appears, however, that he's tweaked his hamstring in the process. He's hobbling around. There won't be too many sharp singles - not that that's what Afghanistan need right now. He's not allowed a runner. And indeed, now he's run out after backing up too far. Naib turned down the single, and Najibullah couldn't hobble back into time. It appeared for a moment that Balaji might've disturbed the stumps without the ball in his hand, but the decision goes against Afghanistan.

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    Over 17 - Afg 120/7 (Naib 3, Najibullah 0)

    WICKET! Nabi has fallen in the pursuit of glory, lifting Ashwin straight down long off's throat. Is that the match to India now? What sort of firepower to Afghanistan have down the order? Naib is meant to be an allrounder, while Najibullah didn't bowl so one hopes he can bat. A specialist batsman at No. 9?

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    Over 16 - Afg 116/6 (Nabi 30, Naib 1)

    Is this the over that could turn the match? Nabi is still fighting so hard for his team, and keeps them alive with two of the best shots you're likely to see in this tournament. Both fly up and over extra cover, the second comfortably clearing the rope. What. A. Shot. He then laps Khan to the fine leg bounday, and 16 runs flow from the over. This is going to be so tight.

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    Over 15 - Afg 100/6 (Nabi 15, Naib 0)

    WICKET! Asad Rauf triggers Shafiqullah after Pathan's lbw shout ... that looks a slightly tough decision. In fact, it's downright wrong. There was a massive inside edge on it. Nabi is still there, however, and as long as he is India will be slightly nervous.

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    Over 14 - Afg 93/5 (Nabi 9, Shafiqullah 8)

    Wow, Nabi has reinvigorated Afghanistan with a mighty, 96 metre blow down the ground. That was massive, the second biggest hit of the tournament so far. Shafiqullah, who's looked busy in his short innings, then follows up with an incredibly crouching, swiveling pull shot to add six more! I like the look of him. Afghanistan have nothing to lose now. They need 67 from 36. Do they believe? Do you?

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    Over 13 - Afg 80/5 (Nabi 2, Shafiqullah 2)

    WICKET! The wheels are coming off now. Shenwari presents Ashwin with the easiest of caught-and-bowled chances, and three wickets have now fallen in six deliveries. The fact that Nabi, who is probably their best batsman, remains will give them a sliver of hope, but one feels that India will maintain control from here. It's a huge task getting 10 an over without wickets in the bank. Incidentally, India would've been 80 for 5 at around the same point if Afghanistan had held their catches.

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    Over 12 - Afg 76/4 (Nabi 0, Shenwari 1)

    WICKETS! Yuvraj strikes again. Sadiq was trying desperately to break free, and aimed a big hit into the leg side. He didn't strike it well enough, however, and Gambhir settled under a regulation catch. The anonymous Stanikzai, who had a decent run in the warm-ups, then edges into Dhoni's gloves, and Yuvraj is on a hat-trick! Dhoni brings two slips in, but Shenwari is off the mark with a push to cover. Afghanistan aren't quite scuppered, but this will rattle them.

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    Over 11 - Afg 74/2 (Sadiq 26, Stanikzai 5)

    Dhoni misses a stumping! Sadiq gave Ashwin the charge and missed the ball completely as it was fired down the leg side, but Dhoni fumbled a difficult take to give the batsman a life. The bowler doesn't give much more away in the over, and the required rate edges up a little further.

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    Over 10 - Afg 69/2 (Sadiq 24, Stanikzai 3)

    Sadiq is playing a great little knock here, and slap-cuts Yuvraj behind point to move into the 20s with a boundary. The batsmen scramble through for a couple more, and seven runs come from the over, but the required rate is nudging up towards 10 an over and Afghanistan need to step up the tempo.

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    Over 9 - Afg 62/2 (Sadiq 19, Stanikzai 1)

    Sadiq sends Ashwin straight back down the ground with an astonishing one-handed swipe that brings him his second boundary. Ashwin then shows that Afghanistan's batsmen won't have it all their own way by completely flummoxing Stanikzai with a carrom ball that zips past the outside edge and just misses the off stump.

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    Over 8 - Afg 54/2 (Sadiq 12, Stanikzai 1)

    WICKET! Yuvraj strikes with his very first delivery, sliding one in to Mangal's pads to trap him lbw. Yuvraj's flight keeps the batsmen to just two from the over.

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    Over 7 - Afg 52/1 (Mangal 22, Sadiq 11)

    Surprisingly, Dhoni turns to Rohit Sharma's offspin and Afghanistan capitalise to take 10 from the over. Mangal is content to work the spinner around for singles, but Sadiq goes on the attack and clubs a four down the ground to bring up Afghanistan's fifty.

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    Over 6 - Afg 42/1 (Mangal 21, Sadiq 2)

    Balaji rattles Sadiq with the short ball, but the batsman manages to get off strike and Mangal strokes a couple through the covers. Afghanistan's captain then steps away to leg and heaves an almighty blow over deep square leg. That was a great hit.

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    Over 5 - Afg 33/1 (Mangal 12, Sadiq 1)

    A change of ends for Irfan Pathan, but Mangal keeps Afghanistan's chase ticking with a cracking drive through extra cover. Just six runs from the over, though, so the required rate creeps up.

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    Over 4 - Afg 26/1 (Mangal 7, Sadiq 0)

    WICKET! Balaji comes into the attack, and removes the buccaneering Shahzad. The batsman set himself for a wild slog into the leg side to a length delivery, but could only get the ball as far as a backpedalling mid on.

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    Over 3 - Afg 24/0 (Shahzad 17, Mangal 6)

    Helicopter shot! Dhoni is Shahzad's hero, and he's emulated his signature shot in fine style to smite Khan to the square leg boundary. Great hitting. He goes after the next ball too, and thick edge flies past slip and down the third man for the second boundary of the over.

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    Over 2 - Afg 11/0 (Shahzad 8, Mangal 2)

    Afghanistan are going to go down swinging! Or, at least Shahzad is as he hoicks Pathan out to wide long on for his first boundary. Pathan responds with a bouncer, but Afghanistan will be pleased to take seven from the over.

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Match Details

Date
19th Sep 2012
Toss
Afghanistan won the toss and elected to bowl.
Venue
R. Premadasa Stadium
Umpires
A Rauf and S J A Taufel

afghanistan BATTING CARD

Batsman R
M.S. Mohammadi c Singh b Balaji 18
N.K. Mangal lbw b Singh 22
K.S. Khan c Gambhir b Singh 26
Stanikzai c Dhoni b Singh 6
Nabi c Ashwin 31
Shenwari c&b Ashwin 1
Shafiq lbw b Pathan 8
G.G. Naib c Raina b Balaji 5
N. Zadran run out 5
D. Zadran b Balaji 8
Extras 1nb, 3w, 2lb 6
Total All Out, 19.3 Overs 136
Full Batting Card

india BOWLING CARD

Bowler O M R W
Khan 3 0 32 0
Pathan 4 0 29 1
Balaji 3.3 0 19 3
Sharma 1 0 10 0
Singh 4 0 24 3
Ashwin 4 0 20 2
Full Bowling Card