By BV Swagath
India eased to an 8-wicket win with 17.4 overs to spare against Afghanistan. Ajinkya Rahane got the opportunity to open the batting and he made most of it by scoring a 5th ODI fifty. Shikhar Dhawan helped himself to a 9th ODI fifty.
Both Rahane and Dhawan were quite patient at the crease while showing no urgency to wrap up the match. Rahane scored 56 from 66 balls with 5 fours before he was lbw playing across the line to medium pacer Mirwais Ashraf.
Shikhar Dhawan was bowled by a beauty from Afghanistan Captain Mohammad Nabi with a delivery that turned away just enough. Dhawan scored 60 from 78 balls with 4 fours and a six.
Ravindra Jadeja was adjudged as the Man of the Match for his bowling efforts.
Afghanistan Innings: Asked to bat first after losing the toss, Afghanistan have been bowled out for a paltry total of 159 in 45.2 overs. Ravindra Jadeja was the destroyer of the Afghan batting taking four wickets in a hurry. R Ashwin helped himself taking a couple of wickets. Mohammed Shami was expensive on a good batting surface but managed to take the two wickets needed to get to 50 ODI scalps.
The minnows started on a promising note with opener Noor Ali Zadran playing some attractive backfoot shots. Shami gave the first wicket with opener Nawroz Mangal chopping a cut onto the stumps in the 6th over. Jadeja struck with his very first ball which drifted in and had Rahmat Ali lbw in the 13th over. Two balls after that he had Noor Ali (31 from 35 balls) gloving a turning delivery to Kohli at slip.
Jadeja picked up his third wicket when Asghar Stanikzai pulled him straight to mid on as Afghanistan slipped to 60 for 4. Wickets were tumbling down in no time before Samiullah Shenwari farmed the strike to score 50 from 73 balls with 6 fours and a six. Shenwari was the last man out in the 46th over.