India beats Afghanistan by 8 wickets in Asia Cup

Associated Press
India’s Shikhar Dhawan, right, plays a shot as Afghanistan’s Mohammad Shahzad watches during their Asia Cup one-day international cricket match in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Wednesday March 5, 2014. (AP Photo/A.M. Ahad)
.

View gallery

MIRPUR, Bangladesh (AP) — India spun out Afghanistan for 159 then needed only 33 overs to reach the winning target in the Asia Cup on Wednesday.

Spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin shared seven wickets as Afghanistan was bowled out in 45.2 overs.

India, in its first match with the Afghans, reached 160-2 in 32.2 overs after an opening stand of 121 between Shikhar Dhawan (60) and Ajinkya Rahane (56).

The result allowed India to bow out on a winning note after being edged to Saturday's final by Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

"It's hard to motivate yourselves when you ... are out of contention for the final. Being more relaxed worked for us, we were quite tense in the earlier games," said Virat Kohli, India captain in the absence of Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

There was a prideful exit for fast-improving Afghanistan, too, after an historic win over Bangladesh in its first Asia Cup.

"There was a big celebration in Afghanistan (after the win over Bangladesh)," captain Mohammad Nabi said. "If there're more matches against full members, it will be a good experience for Afghanistan."

However, this match proved one-sided, as Afghanistan succumbed on a Sher-e-Bangla Stadium pitch aiding slow bowling, the Afghans' batting weakness.

Left-armer Jadeja grabbed 4-30, offspinner Ravichandran 3-31 and legspinner legspinner Amit Mishra 1-21.

Afghanistan handled India's pacemen fine to reach 52-1 after 11 overs. But for the next 25 overs of relentless spin, the Afghans were tormented by the appreciable turn.

Jadeja took two wickets with his first three deliveries. He had 3-3 off two overs, and should have had a fourth wicket in his third over, but a regular catch of Najibullah Zadran was dropped by Kohli in the slips.

Zadran was out in the next over, off the first ball by Ashwin.

At one point, Jadeja had 4-14 off five overs.

After 25 straight overs of spin, Ashwin had 2-26, Mishra 1-17 and Afghanistan was 127-8.

Shami was hit for 10 in the 37th over, and India reverted to three more overs of spin, in which the ninth wicket was taken.

Afghanistan then hung on for 7.2 more overs, as Samiuallah Shenwari scored a fighting 50 to help his side pass 150. Shenwari's fifth half century in 31 games included six fours and a six off 73 balls.

Only two others reached double figures.

During India's chase, Dhawan and Rahane showed a fine understanding, and often stole singles when they found it difficult to work the ball away.

Dhawan, dropped at point by Shenwari off seam bowler Dawlat Zadran on 28, slammed four fours and one six in his seventh ODI half-century. He was out one over before Rahane, who was promoted to opener in place of Rohit Sharma, and hit five fours for his fifth ODI half-century.

Sharma and Dinesh Karthik finished off the chase.

View Comments (0)