01-May-2010 16:34:00 GMT
Ind v Afg, 3rd match, St. Lucia
Seamers, Vijay Give India Registered Easy Win
St. Lucia: India complete a convincing win over Afghanistan beating them easily by 7 wickets, chasing down 116 in 14.5 overs.
Afghanistan never looked threatening in defending their paltry total, despite having picked Gambhir early. Vijay (48) played a fine knock on his debut while Raina (18) also chipped in. Towards the end, Yuvraj (23*) was there unbeaten along with his skipper Dhoni (15* off 6) who struck a couple of lusty blows to take his side through comfortably.
Shenwari and Hassan bowled well for Afghanistan but nothing much that could match the performance of a world-class side like India who had a good work-out in their first game of the tournament.
Ashish Nehra was awarded the Man of the Match for his effort with the ball in the first innings.
Earlier, India produced a disciplined bowling display to restrict an unheralded Afghanistan to 115 for eight in their opening Group C match of the Twenty20 cricket World Cup here today. Ashish Nehra (3/19) did the early damage with short-pitched stuffs, while Praveen Kumar registered his name wicket sheet in the later stages to restrict Afghanistan below the 120-mark after Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss and elected to field.
Zaheer Khan and Ravindra Jadeja too found themselves among wickets, accounting for a victim each by giving away 24 and 15 runs respectively. Opener Noor Ali (50 off 48) scored his maiden Twenty20 half century and together with Asghar Stanikzai (30 off 33) put on vital 68 runs for the fourth wicket to form the basis of the score at the Beausejour Cricket Ground.
Nehra cut short Karim Sadiq misadventure at the crease, having the Afghan opener caught behind by Dhoni for a duck. Nehra struck again in his next over dismissing Mohammad Shahzad (6) in similar fashion.
Skipper Nowroz Mangal (5) also failed to make any impression, uppishly driving Ravindra Jadeja straight to Gautam Gambhir at mid-off to see Afghanistan in dire straits at 29 for three in the sixth over. But then Noor Ali and Stanikzai joined hands and played sensibly to put on the important fourth-wicket stand that ensured some respectability to the Afghan score.
Noor Ali batted with admirable poise, flicking and driving with lan during which he found the fence only four times. Stanikzai, on the other hand, was a revelation.
He knew nothing about pressure and cared little for the reputation of the Indian bowlers. He hit the ball around the park with gay abandon, smashing Jadeja, Yusuf Pathan and Harbhajan Singh for huge sixes with effortless ease.
India may have preyed on Afghanistan''s inexperience and restricted them to below par total, but their fielding left a lot to be desired. Evidently, they were slow on the feet, Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan Singh in particular struggled in the outfield.
Afghanistan 115 for 8 (Noor 50, Nehra 3-19)
India 116 for 3 (Vijay 48)
Result India won by seven wickets
MOM Ashish Nehra (India)