Rohits Comeback Marred by Mix-up; Afghanistan Sets Strong Total in T20 Opener.image/twitter
Rohits Comeback Marred by Mix-up; Afghanistan Sets Strong Total in T20 Opener
Rohit Sharma took center stage in the first T20I clash between India and Afghanistan, marking his comeback to the format after 14 months. As this series serves as India’s final international T20 outing before the T20 World Cup, all eyes were on Sharma’s performance. Unfortunately, his return was cut short in an unexpected mix-up with opening partner Shubman Gill during the second ball of Fazalhaq Farooqi’s opening over, resulting in Rohit being run out without scoring.
Expressing his frustration, Rohit gestured towards Gill as he walked back to the dugout. The mix-up occurred when Rohit drove the ball to mid-off, called for a single, but Gill remained stationary, leading to Rohit’s dismissal. Despite this setback, Afghanistan managed to post a competitive total of 158 for five, fueled by a dynamic 68-run partnership between Mohammad Nabi and Azmatullah Omarzai.
The experienced Nabi (42 off 27) and the young Omarzai (29 off 22) revitalized Afghanistan’s innings after a shaky start that saw them at 57 for three in the first 10 overs. Openers Rahamanullah Gurbaz and skipper Ibrahim Zadran struggled during the powerplay, managing only four boundaries. The game experienced a brief delay due to a flickering blue light around the sightscreen, distracting Gurbaz.
The Indian bowlers initially dominated, with Arshdeep Singh opening the innings with a maiden over. However, Axar Patel emerged as the standout bowler for India, finishing with figures of 4-23-2. He dismissed Gurbaz with a stumping, and Zadran fell to a delivery from Shivam Dube in the second ball of his opening spell. Rahmat Shah, making his T20 debut, also fell victim to Axar by chopping on to the stumps.
The turning point for Afghanistan came through Nabi and Omarzai, who showcased their ability to build a T20 innings. They targeted Ravi Bishnoi and Mukesh Kumar in the middle overs, with Nabi’s consecutive sixes off Mukesh standing out in his brisk innings. Najibullah Zadran and Karim Janat contributed to taking the total past 150. Despite the biting cold in Mohali, India’s fielding performance suffered, with three dropped catches. Opener Yashasvi Jaiswal was unavailable for selection due to a sore right groin.
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