Published on: Jan 18, 2024
Team India beat Afghanistan in the third T20I at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Wednesday, January 17, but not in the manner they would have expected. The Men in Blue had to play two Super Overs to complete a 3-0 series win over Afghanistan.
India won the toss and batted first in the match. Fareed Ahmad took out Yashasvi Jaiswal (4), Virat Kohli (0) and Sanju Samson (0) cheaply, while Shivam Dube (1) fell to Azmatullah Omarzai as India collapsed to 22/4. Captain Rohit Sharma (121 not out off 69 balls) and Rinku Singh (69 not out off 39 balls), however, added 190 runs for the fifth wicket to lift India to 212/4.
Rohit hit 11 fours and eight sixes, while Rinku struck two fours and six sixes. He deposited the last three balls of the innings from Karim Janat over the ropes as 36 runs came off the 20th over. Chasing 213, Afghanistan’s openers added 93 in 11 overs as Rahmanullah Gurbaz scored 50 off 32 and captain Ibrahim Zadran (50 off 41).
After their dismissals, Gulbadin Naib (55 not out off 23) and Mohammad Nabi (34 off 16) kept the fight alive for Afghanistan. Naib struck four fours and as many sixes, including one in the last over off Mukesh Kumar to tie the game.
Afghanistan batted first in the first Super Over and got 16 as Gurbaz and Nabi managed a couple of big strikes of Kumar. Rohit then hit successive sixes off Omarzai as the first Super Over was also tied. The Indian captain, who had retired on the fifth ball of the first Super Over, came back to bat in the second Super Over and hit a six and a four off Fareed Ahmad. Still, India only managed 11.
Chasing 12 for victory, Afghanistan lost two wickets for only one run. Indian leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi had Nabi and Gurbaz caught in the deep. The Men in Blue thus preserved their unbeaten record against Afghanistan.
Speaking after the hard-fought win, Indian captain and Player of the Match Rohit said, “I don’t remember when was the last time this happened. I think I batted 3 times in one of the IPL games. Creating the partnership was important and we (Rinku and I) kept talking to each other to not lose that intent in big games and it was a good game for us to be in, the pressure was there and was important to bat long and deep and not compromise on the intent we want to show.”
–By A Cricket Correspondent