Afghans take India to the wire
AFGHANISTAN gave Asian neighbours India a fright before succumbing by 23 runs in the ICC Twenty20 tournament on Wednesday.
Chasing a target of 160 the Afghans matched India's scoring rate for the first 11 overs before a double strike by left-armer Yuvraj Singh seemed to have stopped the rot. However, some big hitting down the order, especially by Mohammad Nabi, who made 31 from 17 balls, kept the team in the hunt.
Sadly a lack of experience eventually told and the first major shock of the tournament was avoided as Afghanistan were dismissed for 136. Their next opponents, England, have been warned.
Earlier Afghanistan captain Nawroz Mangal won the toss and put India in to bat, a decision that seemed justified when India were reduced to 22/2 in the fifth over with Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag both being dismissed.
India struggled and had it not been for three dropped catches, none of them difficult, some missed run-outs and 14 wides, India may not have scored as much as their eventual 159/5.
Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina did the damage with 50 (39 balls) and 38 (33 balls) respectively.
None of the Afghan bowlers was really punished, with Shapoor Zadran and Zawlat Zadran having the best figures, with 2/33 and 1/25 respectively.
In the earlier match an all-round performance by Shane Watson helped Australia to a seven-wicket win against Ireland with 29 balls remaining. Watson took 3/26 as Ireland underperformed with the bat, reaching a disappointing 123/7. Kevin O'Brien top-scored with 35 from 29 balls. Watson then scored 51 from 30 balls as Australia passed the target easily.