Dinesh Karthik came to bowl the last over. He has bowling experience in domestic cricket, but has never bowled before in 169 international matches. Ibrahim Zadran hit 2 sixes in 2 consecutive balls of Karthik, 18 runs in the last over. But it didn’t matter, the last over was just a formality. 1020 days after Virat Kohli’s century, Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s record 212 runs for 5 wickets 4 runs, Afghanistan stopped at 111 runs. India ended the Asia Cup with a 101-run win, their only win in the Super Four. The struggling Afghans had to remain undefeated in this phase.
Afghanistan witnessed a thrilling match against Pakistan the night before, although they lost in the end. And with that defeat, it was confirmed that India was also parting ways with the Afghans. This match was therefore only a rule of thumb. However, Kohli chose this match to break the century drought in international cricket, and later Bhuvneshwar made a record bowling figure. It is only the fifth time in T20 International that a team has seen a century and 5 wickets in the same match.
Bhuvneshwar sent back two Afghan openers Hazratullah Zazai and Rahmanullah Gurbaz in the first over in chase of runs. His victims Karim Janat and Najibullah Zadran in the next over, Afghanistan lost the fourth wicket for 9 runs. Mohammad Nabi was sent back by Arshdeep Singh in the middle, Bhuvneshwar took the wicket of Azmatullah Omarzai in his last over. Knuckle ball, inswing, outswing upset the life of Afghan batsmen, the pacer finished bowling with 5 wickets for 4 runs. No one has taken 5 or more wickets for so few runs for India in T20Is. In total, only Rangana Herath and Rashid Khan (3 runs) have the feat of taking 5 wickets in an innings with fewer runs.
After losing 6 wickets for 21 runs, Afghanistan finally managed to play 20 overs, thanks to Ibrahim Zadran. In the end he remained unbeaten with 64 runs off 59 balls. Rashid Khan and Mujib ur Rahman accompanied him at the end. Ibrahim alone scored 57.65 percent of the team’s runs.
Earlier, India’s innings was Kohli-moy. Lokesh Rahul led instead of regular captain Rohit Sharma, Kohli came to open instead of Rohit. Although he opened regularly in the IPL, Kohli last played in this position in March last year in the national team. He got a century there. Rahul and Kohli’s opening partnership scored 119 runs. Rahul played an innings of 62 runs off 41 balls, hitting 6 fours and 2 sixes. The innings with a strike rate of 151 gave momentum to India’s innings as well. He was not in the rhythm of returning from injury, this innings will surely give him confidence.
Of course, even if Rahul returned, Kohli did not have a problem. Got a fifty in 32 balls, got a century in 53 balls after 1020 days. Kohli’s innings must have been faultless except for Ibrahim Zadran’s life at mid-wicket during a personal 27 off Mohammad Nabi. Kohli looked at the dressing room and started celebrating with a big smile after he pooled Farid Ahmed for six in the second ball of the 19th over of the innings. Then Udvahu with a relieved look. At one point, he painted a kiss on his wedding ring.
This is Kohli’s first century in T20I, 71st in international cricket. Thanks to his unbeaten 122 off 61 balls, India also built a mountain of 212 runs for 2 wickets. Bhuvneshwar later confirmed that the Afghans were hiding well under that hill.