India crush Afghanistan by 66 runs, but win may not be enough to secure semi-final spot


India on Wednesday defeated Afghanistan by 66 runs to register their first win in the ongoing T20 World Cup. But the victory may still not be enough for Virat Kohli’s side to secure a semi-final spot.

Indian batsmen regained their form as they began to hit Afghanistan bowlers all around the stadium. Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul added 140 runs for the opening wicket in 14.4 overs. Sharma was out for 74 in 47 balls, while Rahul made 69 in 48 balls. Hardik Pandya and Rishabh Pant remained unbeaten at 35 and 27 respectively as India posted a huge total of 210-2 in 20 overs.

Afghanistan never looked comfortable in their run chase as they ended their innings at 144-7. Karim Janat was the top scorer as he remained not out at 44, scored in 22 balls. Mohammad Nabi made 35 in 32 balls.

Mohammad Shami took three wickets, while Ravichandran Ashwin dismissed two batsmen.

The victory against Afghanistan may still not be enough for India to book a place in the semi-final since New Zealand have already accumulated four points in three matches. India, on the other, hand have just two points after three matches.

New Zealand’s next two games are against Namibia and Afghanistan. For India to have any hopes of making it to the semi-final, not only do New Zealand have to lose at least one of their remaining games, but India would also have to win their next two matches by phenomenal margins to improve their net run rate against the Kiwis.

Afghanistan too have four points and would be a serious contender for semi-final if they are able to beat New Zealand in their next match because of a better net run rate.

New Zealand on Wednesday had little trouble in defeating Scotland in their third match. Batting first, New Zealand made 172-5 in 20 overs. Martin Guptill was unlucky to not have completed what would have been a scintillating century. He was out for 93, scored in 56 balls. His knock included seven sixes.

Scotland could only post 156-5 after 20 overs.