WORLD T20: Suryakumar, Bumrah lead India to commanding win over Afghanistan

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India underlined their title credentials with a comprehensive 47-run victory over Afghanistan in the T20 World Cup Super 8s in Barbados.

Suryakumar Yadav struck a sublime 53 off 28 balls to lead India to an imposing 181-8 despite their acclaimed top order failing to fire.

Afghanistan captain Rashid Khan and tournament leading wicket-taker Fazalhaq Farooqi impressed, claiming three wickets each, but a loose end to the innings left their batters little room for error in the chase.

They slipped to 23-3 early on in their reply, with India’s supreme fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah removing both openers on his way to figures of 3-7.

India kept the pressure on to ensure Afghanistan fell far behind the required rate, before they were dismissed for 134 off the final ball, with Arshdeep Singh taking 3-36.

The other two sides in Group One, Australia and Bangladesh, play in Antigua later on Thursday night from 20:30h.

Jasprit Bumrah produced another miserly spell (Photo: ICC via Getty Images)

SKY goes big

Suryakumar was at his captivating best, mixing powering with finesse as he threatened the boundary all round the ground.

A fierce sweep for six off Rashid was followed by two mighty maximums down the ground off Azmatullah and Farooqi – SKY both times delightfully holding the pose in his follow through.

He reached his fifty off 27 balls before falling next delivery as he miscued Farooqi to Mohammad Nabi at long-off.

Hardik Pandya provided welcome support, hitting two big sixes in his 32 off 24, while Axar Patel added a canny 12 off six late on to put India on top.

Those were crucial contributions after Afghanistan started well to remove India’s top three relatively cheaply.

Farooqi duped India captain Rohit Sharma with a slower ball to have him caught for eight, Rashid trapped Rishabh Pant for 20 and then removed Kohli for 24 when he picked out long-off.

Kohli’s form will be the main area of concern for India. He scored only five runs in three matches during the group stage and, one sublime six aside, again struggled for timing.

Regardless, this is the blueprint that makes India such a dangerous side as they seek a first T20 world title since the inaugural tournament in 2007 – set a big total and let their excellent bowling attack wreak havoc.

Bumrah foxed Rahmanullah Gurbaz with a cutter as he edged behind and drew fellow opener Hazratullah Zazai into a leading edge to gully, either side of Ibrahim Zadran slapping Axar straight to cover.

Afghanistan are often reliant on their top order and, once they were dismissed early, India’s squeezed the rest to ensure they fell well short of their target.

India next face Bangladesh in Antigua on Saturday (10:30h), while Afghanistan play Australia in St. Vincent that night from 20:30h.

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