Opener Yashasvi Jaiswal and Shivam Dube smashed half-centuries as India thrashed Afghanistan by six wickets in the second Twenty20 international in Indore on Sunday to clinch the three-match series.
Jaiswal, who hit 68 off 34 balls, returned to the team along with star batsman Virat Kohli after the two missed the opening win.
Jaiswal put on key partnerships including a 92-run stand with left-handed partner Dube, who hit an unbeaten 63, as India chased down their victory target with 26 balls to spare and take an unbeatable 2-0 lead, AFP reported.
Top-ranked India have been unbeaten at home for 15 consecutive T20 series.
Their bowlers set up victory with left-arm spinner Axar Patel leading the charge with figures of 2-17 to help dismiss Afghanistan for 172 despite Gulbadin Naib’s 57.
“The last two games, we’ve ticked a lot of boxes,” India skipper Rohit Sharma said after the win.
Rohit praised Jaiswal and Dube.
“They’ve had a great couple of years. Jaiswal has played Test cricket now and even T20. He has shown what he is capable of. He has the talent and has a great range of shots.
“Dube is a big guy, very powerful and can take on the spinners. That is his role and he has come out and played two crucial innings for us.”
Kohli, who played his first T20 for India since November 2022, made 29 in a partnership of 57 with Jaiswal after Rohit fell for a second successive duck.
Jaiswal took apart the opposition bowling after left-arm quick Fazalhaq Farooqi bowled Rohit and fellow fast bowler Naveen-ul-Haq took down Kohli.
Jaiswal reached his fourth T20 half-ton for India and Dube, who starred in the team’s opening win, joined the charge to hit his second successive fifty.
Jaiswal hit five fours and six sixes before he fell to Karim Janat who struck twice in an over but Dube stood firm to steer the team home and gi past his previous T20 best of 60 not out.
Earlier Naib, a top-order batsman, took on the Indian bowling attack in his 35-ball knock laced with five fours and four sixes.
He made his fourth T20 half-century for Afghanistan but fell when Patel had him caught at short mid-wicket by Rohit.
Wickets kept tumbling, but Najibullah Zadran (23 off 21 balls), Janat (10-ball 20) and Mujeeb Ur Rahman (21 off nine) boosted the Afghanistan total.
“Sometimes we play well in the powerplay, sometimes in the middle (overs), and sometimes in the death overs,” skipper Ibrahim Zadran said.
“We are going for the T20 World Cup, so we don’t want to repeat these.”
The last over from left-arm quick Arshdeep Singh, who ended with three wickets, brought four wickets including two run outs as Afghanistan were bowled out on the final ball.
Leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi took two wickets.
The final match is on Wednesday in Bengaluru.
Afghanistan A cricket team to tour Sri Lanka in April
Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) on Friday announced that the nation’s A team is scheduled to play five One Day matches and one four-day match against Sri Lanka from April 28 to May 14.
Afghanistan A will arrive in Sri Lanka on April 25 and kick off their tour with a One Day match against the Sri Lanka A side on April 28. Other four One Day matches are scheduled to be played on April 30, May 3, May 5, and May 7.
Following the One Day matches, a one-off four-day match is slated to be held from May 11 to May 14.
The venues for these matches are yet to be confirmed.
Naseeb Khan, CEO of ACB, expressed his satisfaction with the consistent engagement of the Afghanistan A squad in bilateral events and multi-nation events. He highlighted the importance of providing ample exposure to the A team, which serves as the backup for the senior national team.
“The ACB remains committed to facilitating as much exposure as possible for the AfghanAtalan (A team) squad, which comprises our talented young cricketers,” he added.
Afghan MMA fighter to face his Israeli rival
Hussain Bakhsh Safari, Afghanistan’s free fighting athlete – in the Legacy Fighting Association – is scheduled to enter the cage against his Israeli rival, Koren, early next month.
Safari said in a post on X that the fight between him and his opponent is scheduled to be held on March 8 in the city of Santa Cruz, in the US.
Safari added that it’s happening in America, to create happiness and being smiles to “all our dear compatriots”.
He said this fight comes after a short break.
“Finally, after a short break due to immigration and travel plans, now with the blessings of you noble people who have always followed me, I will enter the fighting ring,” said Safari.
He said that he hopes the fight will bring happiness to his countrymen back home.
Head of Sports Administration attends opening ceremony of Kazan’s ‘Games of Future’
The General Director of Physical Education and Sport of Afghanistan (GDPES) Mawlavi Ahmadullah Wasiq participated in the opening ceremony of the Games of Future competition hosted by Tatarstan-Kazan.
On the sidelines of the ceremony, Wasiq also met with the Ministers of Sports of Russia and Tatarstan.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and other officials also participated in the opening ceremony, GDPES said in a post on X.
According to GDPES the competition started on February 21 and will continue until March 3.
Nearly 2,000 athletes from 107 countries will take part in the games and will compete in 21 sports.
The Next Generation Sports competition is a new series of sports competitions, which for the first time officially starts in Kazan.
The combination of these sports includes digital and classical sports, GDPES said.
Putin said during his opening speech that sport is meant to create unity between countries and nations and should not become political.
On the sidelines of the ceremony, Wasiq meanwhile met with the minister of sports of Russia, Oleg Matisin, and the minister of sports of Tatarstan, Vladimir Leonov.
Cooperation in sport and sport development was discussed.
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