India and Afghanistan kicked off their T20I series by facing off at the Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali on Thursday, January 11. The hosts made a winning start to take a 1-0 lead.
Afghanistan batted first after losing the toss and got off to a subpar start. The openers Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran scored 23 and 25 runs but failed to convert their starts.
Azmatullah Omarzai added 29 with Mohammad Nabi being the highest run-getter, scoring a quick 42 runs in 27 deliveries. Afghanistan eventually posted a total of 158 runs on the board in the first innings.
As for India, Mukesh Kumar and Axar Patel were the highest wicket takers with two wickets each, Shivam Dube also struck once. Aiming to chase down the target, India lost skipper Rohit Sharma for a duck at the very start due to confusion with Shubman Gill.
Gill hung around for a while but failed to ride on the momentum, falling in 23 off 12. However, a brilliant unbeaten 60 by Shivam Dube and Jitesh Sharma’s brisk 20-ball 31 kept India on track. In the end, Rinku Singh (16 off 9) joined Dube to give the finishing touches to India’s chase. He helped the team register a six-wicket win.
Top Performers of the Match
Shivam Dube (60* of 40): Star Dube was the highest run-getter of the game and undoubtedly the best batter of the first T20I. He scored a brilliant unbeaten 60 off 40. Dube’s knock was crucial for the hosts in winning the game and gaining the lead in the series.
Mujeeb Ur Rahman (2/21, 4 overs): Afghanistan’s Mujeeb ur Rahman is impressive in the first T20I against India. He took two brilliant wickets and conceded just 21 runs. He even bowled a maiden over in the clash but was unfortunately unable to propel his side to a win.
Both teams are set to face each other in the second T20I of the series on January 14 in Indore.