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Report: Asia Cup – Afghanistan vs India

India bow out with a eight-wicket win set up by spinners

India registered a comfortable eight-wicket win over Afghanistan to bow out of the Asia Cup with a bonus point. It was the spinners who set the win up by restricting the Afghans to 159 in 45.2 overs. The Indian slow bowlers ruled the roost with combined figures of 30-5-82-8 as the Afghan batsmen fell hook line and sinker. Later, half-centuries from Shikhar Dhawan and Ajinkya Rahane stirred India home with 17.4 overs to spare.

While the Indians didn’t choose to experiment with their Playing XI in the dead rubber, they did shuffle their batting-order. It was Rahane who walked in to open the innings along with Dhawan. The duo began slowly, collecting 34 runs from nine overs, before going into the innings break.
They came back and continued in the same vein, looking relaxed at the crease, negotiating one ball at a time. The lack of boundaries didn’t bother the Indian openers, as they farmed strike on their way to the first 100-run partnership posted in ODIs against Afghanistan by any team. In the next over, 21st of the innings, both Rahane and Dhawan got their respective fifties.

However, the partnership ended soon after reaching its century-mark as both Rahane and Dhawan departed lbw in consecutive overs. Mirwais Ashraf and Mohammad Nabi were the respective strikers.

Rohit Sharma and Dinesh Karthik walked in at No. 3 and 4 respectively with India needing just over 30 runs to win.

Afghanistan’s innings began on a brisk note as they collected easy 30 runs in the first five overs. Mohammad Shami gave away 23 in his first two before getting the first breakthrough for India. A short ball was played on to the stumps by Navroz Mangal. After the fortuitous wicket, Shami regained his rhythm, giving 10 runs in his next three overs. Although wicketless, Bhuvneshwar Kumar kept things tight in eight overs, giving away merely 25 runs.

In no time, Ravindra Jadeja and Amit Mishra were bowling in tandem. Jadeja had four wickets against his name after five overs – Rahmat Shah was lbw, Noor Ali Zadran was caught in the slip by Virat, Asghar Stanikzai was caught at mid-on trying to pull away a poor short and wide delivery and Mohammad Nabi nicked one to the keeper. Amit Mishra extracted turn and bounce from the wicket and put a display of classical leg-spin bowling with flight, loop and the odd googly.

R Ashwin, like Jadeja, picked up a wicket off his first ball – Najibullah Zadran skied a tossed-up ball as substitute Stuart Binny settled under it at mid-off. After 21 overs, Afghanistan were 83 for 6.

Despite the wickets falling like ninepins, Mohammad Shahzad, Afghanistan’s flamboyant wicketkeeper, did not refrain from striking big. The first ball he faced, off Ashwin, was swept away to the fence. Next over, he hoicked Jadeja for a six over midwicket. His entertaining vigil ended at 22 when an Ashwin carom ball caught him plumb in front of the wicket.

Amidst the chaos of wickets, Samiullah Shenwari took the onus of steadying the Afghan innings. The batsman who had scored an attacking 81 off 69 balls against Bangladesh, adapted to the situation well and played more sedately. His 50 (73 balls) helped Afghanistan get past the 150-run mark before he became Shami’s 50th ODI wicket, concluding the Afghan innings at 159 in 45.2 overs. Reaching the landmark in his 29th match, Shami became the second fastest Indian to get there.

Ashwin finished with 3 for 31 while Mishra’s figures of 1 for 21 belied the trouble he caused to the Afghan batsmen, beating their bats on innumerable occasions.

Man of the Match:
Ravindra Jadeja for his bowling figures of 10-1-30-4

Shirin Sadikot

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Roundup: Inter-state One-day League, Day 6

Jitesh Sharma, Dheeraj Jadhav score centuries
Roundup: Inter-state One-day League, Day 6

Jitesh Sharma powered Vidarbha to victory over UPCA with a 107, while Dheeraj Jadhav’s 102 went in vain as Assam lost to Jharkhand on the sixth day of the Inter-State One-Day League 2013-14. Here is the roundup for the day:

South Zone

Andhra vs Kerala: After their bowlers set up the game in Andhra's favour by bowling Kerala out for 160, their batsmen took the team to a seven-wicket win. N Jyothi Sai Krishna (61*) and Ricky Bhui (74*) helped the team to the target after they were left reeling on 10 for the loss of two. Earlier, D Sivakumar, P Vijay Kumar and B Sudhakar claimed two wickets each, while T Atchuta Rao took three wickets to bowl Kerala out for 160 in 46.4 overs.

South Zone

Goa vs Hyderabad:Chasing 290 runs, Hyderabad clinched a one-wicket win against against Goa in their one-day match. A Ashish Reddy's swashbuckling 62 off 35 balls helped the team attain the target with two balls to spare in the thrilling encounter. No.3 batsman DB Ravi Teja anchored the innings to keep Hyderabad in the fray and took them to 213 for six before returning in the 42nd over. Earlier, S Kamat's 112 and K Vaz's 111 had helped Goa set Hyderabad a stiff target. 

Karnataka vs Tamil Nadu: Tamil Nadu cantered to a seven-wicket win against Karnataka in Bangalore. Electing to field first, the L Balaji-led attack struck at regular intervals. Karnataka prodded along and managed to get to 168 for nine. Balaji and Rahil Shah claimed three-wickets apiece after V Yo Mahesh got the ball rolling with the wicket of Mayank Agarwal to end the opening stand for 45. Baba Aparajith chipped in with one as the rest of the line-up failed to stand up to the TN attack. CM Gautam retired hurt on 17, while HS Sharath remained not out without opening his account. Led by the in-form Murali Vijay (73) and S Badrinath (81*), TN attained the total in 38.5 overs.

East Zone

Assam vs Jharkhand: Jharkhand successfully chased the 263-run target to post a comprehensive seven-wicket over Assam. IR Jaggi (88) and AP Yadav (47) set up the chase with a 109-run opening stand, while No.3 bat VB Singh scored 53. Kumar Deobrat and S Tiwary then helped their team attain the target with 15 balls to spare. Earlier, Dheeraj Jadhav scored 102 to help Assam set a competitive target for Jharkhand.

Bengal vs Tripura: After bowling Tripura out for 199, Bengal scampered to an eight-wicket win at Agartala. Earlier, Tripura were bowled out in 44.1 overs by the Bengal attack. Ashoke Dinda claimed three wickets, while Veer Pratap Singh and IA Saxena took two apiece. S Lahiri and L Shukla chipped in with a wicket each. Bengal opener S P Goswami then led the chase and made 84 before he was sent back by Viki Saha, while SD Chatterjee scored 71 not-out.

North Zone

DDCA vs Haryana: Milind Kumar's unbeaten 70 and Mithun Manhas' 68 helped DDCA post a six-wicket win against Haryana while chasing 201 in Delhi. Asked to bat first, Haryana were taken to 200 for six by Bhupinder Lingwal's 51 and SP Rathi’s 31 lower down the order, while opener R Dewan scored 49.

Punjab vs SSCB: Punjab posted a thumping 98-run win over SSCB after electing to bat first and posting 232 for nine. S T Kaul, who finished with a four-for, gave Punjab their first breakthrough, while SBG Sharma followed up with the second with just 19 on the board. Wickets tumbled as the Punjab bowlers maintained a stranglehold on the SSCB line-up. GR Singh picked three wickets, while Yuvraj Singh took two. Earlier, MH Singh was the top-scorer for Punjab with an 83.

Himachal vs J&K:
After their batsmen set a competitive target for J&K, Himachal rode to a 49-run win on the back of the Rishi Dhawan-led bowling attack. Although the HP captain got only one wicket, the rest of the attack kept the opposition on their toes from the word go. VS Malik sent back both the openers in his first two overs to leave the opposition on 17 for two while chasing 230. B Sharma and Karan Veer too claimed two wickets each, while GK Singh took one to help bowl out J&K for 180. Earlier, Nikhil Gangta had ensured the team got to a par score with a 99, before being sent back by WM Paray. Opting to bat first, HP were bowled out for 229 with two balls to spare as the lower half of their line-up collapsed.

Central Zone

MPCA vs Rajasthan: After their pacers set up the match in Rajasthan's favour, they sailed to a five-wicket win a low-scoring game at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium. After opting to field first, the Pankaj Singh-led pace attack bundled out MPCA for 164 in 37.5 overs. Skipper Deepak Chahar and Tanveer-ul-Haq claimed three wickets each, while R Bishnoi chipped in with one wicket. During the chase, the home team lost SA Chouhan with just 11 runs on board. But they were helped across the line by PR Yadav who remained unbeaten on 56.

UPCA vs Vidarbha:
J M Sharma and Faiz Fazal propelled Vidarbha to a six-wicket win against UPCA. Chasing the 269-run target, Fazal made 84, while J Sharma scored 107 to set up the win. Urvesh Patel and S Shrivastava then took the team across the line. Earlier, opting to bat first, UPCA made 268 for six. Rinku Singh scored 83, while Mohammad Kaif made 74 for UP.

West Zone

Baroda vs Maharashtra:
Kedar Devdhar's century powered Baroda to 334 for nine, thus setting Maharashtra a formidable target. Aditya Waghmode and Yusuf Pathan supplemented the openers' 103-run knock with 88 and 66 respectively after Baroda opted to bat first. Irfan Pathan once again struck in the first over - this time accounting for Harshad Khadiwale's wicket - and followed-up with the wicket of Rohit Motwani 39 runs later. Ankit Bawne's determined 97 and Nikhil Naik's 78 could not help Maharashtra salvage the innings. With the rest of the batsmen caving in to the Baroda attack, Maharashtra were bowled out for 284 with seven balls to spare. Apart from Irfan's early breakthroughs, L Meriwala picked three wickets, while Munaf Patel and J Chhaya chipped in with a wicket each to bowl their team to a 50-run win.

Gujarat vs Saurashtra:
Chasing 210, Saurashtra coasted to a six-wicket win against Gujarat in Rajkot. Earlier, after Gujarat were bowled out for 209 after electing to bat first, 27 was the highest individual score in their line-up as batsmen returned to the pavilion at regular intervals.

Saurashtra's A R Bhat claimed three wickets, while Chirag Jani and D Jadeja for two wickets apiece. Left struggling on 38 for two, JN Shah (76) and Arpit Vasavada (72*) helped Saurashtra to victory.

BCCI Staff

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