India vs. Afghanistan: Rohit Sharma’s century guides India to convincing win

By Navneet Ganesh
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Representational Photo by Mudassir Ali on Unsplash

Rohit Sharma’s blistering century turned a potentially challenging chase of 273 into a one-sided affair, with the number one ranked ODI side India securing the win against Afghanistan by 8 wickets and with 15 overs to spare.

Rohit Sharma was nothing short of spectacular as he blazed his way to a record-breaking century. His 131 off just 63 balls not only set the record for the fastest century by an Indian in an ODI World Cup but also catapulted him to the top of several record lists. Rohit now holds the record for the most centuries (7) across all World Cups, accomplishing this feat in just 19 innings. Moreover, he has become the leading player with the most international sixes (556) across all formats, surpassing the legendary Chris Gayle.

India’s top order, which had faltered in their previous match against Australia, experienced a complete turnaround in this encounter, thanks to Rohit Sharma’s masterclass. His innings was a display of controlled aggression, featuring 16 fours and 5 sixes that left the Afghanistan bowlers in disarray. Even world-class spinners like Rashid Khan, Mujeeb-ur-Rahman, and Mohammad Nabi couldn’t contain Rohit’s onslaught.

Rohit’s innings finally came to an end at 131, a victim of Rashid Khan’s brilliance. By then, the damage was done, and India was well on its way to a convincing victory. Virat Kohli, unbeaten on 55*, played the perfect supporting role as India cruised to the win.

Afghanistan had won the toss and opted to bat first, but their innings was characterized by numerous dot balls punctuated by occasional boundaries. Jasprit Bumrah’s impeccable bowling made scoring difficult early, while Mohammad Siraj, had a match to forget, proving expensive, conceding 76 runs in his nine overs.

Afghanistan’s top order faltered, with openers Rahmanullah Gurbaz (21) and Ibrahim Zadran (22) perishing after making steady starts. Shardul Thakur removed Rahmat Shah, leaving Afghanistan in a precarious position at 63 for 3.

Despite their early setbacks, Afghanistan fought back with a resilient partnership between captain Hashmatullah Shahidi and Azmatullah Omarzai, amassing 121 runs. Their effectiveness forced Rohit Sharma to bring back the pacers earlier than anticipated.

Afghanistan seemed to be setting sights on a substantial total, but a well-timed off-cutter by Hardik Pandya dismissed Omarzai for 62, derailing their progress. Mohammad Nabi’s scratchy innings of 19 off 27 balls only hindered Afghanistan’s momentum further.

Skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi’s patient 80 off 88 balls anchored Afghanistan’s innings, but his dismissal while attempting a reverse-sweep against Kuldeep Yadav signalled the end of their hopes for a 300-plus total.

Late contributions from Rashid Khan, Mujeeb-ur-Rahman, and Gulbadin Naib helped Afghanistan reach a competitive total of 272, but it proved insufficient in the face of Rohit Sharma’s onslaught with the bat.

The stakes get higher as India now take on Pakistan on Saturday, while Afghanistan faces England on Sunday and will want to revive their campaign with an upset.


About the Author: Nav Ganesh is the founder of Infinity Cricket, a cricket aficionado currently gripped by an incurable case of cricket fever. When not living out his cricketing dreams, he occasionally taps away at the keyboard to craft cricketing tales. He prefers typing articles to bowling underwhelming deliveries and battles writer’s block with finesse. Dive into the world of Infinity Cricket on Instagram (www.instagram.com/infinitycricket) for more cricket posts, insights, and the occasional burst of cricket-induced wit.

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