3rd Match, Group A (N), Colombo, Sep 19 2012, ICC World Twenty20
(19.3/20 ov, target 160)136
India won by 23 runs
player of the match
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• The Report by Sidharth Monga

Afghanistan give India scare but run out of gas

Bubbling with enthusiasm and energy, Afghanistan gave India a scare with the ball and a half with the bat, but 20 overs proved to be too long a time for them to sustain that quality and keenness

Match centre 
Scorer: Gopi Rangarajan
Commentator: Siddarth Ravindran
Scorecard summary
India159/5(20 overs)
Afghanistan136/10(19.3 overs)

As Zubair says: "What if the catches had been taken? What if so many wides had not been bowled? Little more discipline would have taken them through,but a great fight nevertheless..Beware England."

It's been immensely entertaining stuff from Afghanistan. The new-ball bowlers tested India with their pace and bounce, and a much-hyped batting order could only reach 159, thanks to the run-machine Virat Kohli. The catching from Afghanistan was appalling though, putting down four (or was it five) chances. Afghanistan's batsmen may not have textbook technique, but merrily threw the bat around, and pulled off some breath-taking hits but Yuvraj's double-strike in the 12th over sucked the momentum out of the chase.

Arun: "Well played by Afghanistan. But the whole thing can be argued in another way, the fearless way to go with the match obviously helped them play better. India on the other hand, had to be careful to avoid getting embarrassed."

Presentation ceremony:

Nawroz Mangal: "It was a good game for the boys, we could have done better, shot selection was a bit poor, that was why we have lost the game. We could have done better in the field, but we are satisfied we restricted the mighty Indian batting to 160."

MS Dhoni: "This format balances both teams, if one of the opposition batsman or bowler have a great day, it could change the result. A good performance but not a great performance from us. There are a lot of areas we have to improve on to be honest. People talk a lot about five bowlers, but what matters is on the day how they bowl, whether they are a part-timer or a specialist."

Man of the Match is Virat Kohli: "Always good to get a start, good to start on a winning note. Always tough to play against a team with nothing to lose. They were in a situation where they could try a lot of things, we had to be more careful."

Here's Sid Monga's match report. There'll be more from our guys at the ground shortly. For the moment, though, that's it from us at ESPNcricinfo. Good night, and thanks for all the mails.

Balaji to Zadran, OUT

game over, Balaji finishes it off with a yorker, Afghanistan lose but they have not been disgraced, the first match of the tournament which wasn't completely one-sided

Dawlat Zadran b Balaji 8 (9m 5b 2x4 0x6) SR: 160
Balaji to Gulbadin, OUT

nine down now for Afghanistan, Naib tries to send the ball into orbit, sends it only as far as Raina at mid-off, it was a short ball from Balaji again

Gulbadin Naib c Raina b Balaji 5 (23m 14b 0x4 0x6) SR: 35.71
Balaji to Gulbadin, no run

a bouncer to start, batsman looks to pull but can't connect

end of over 1910 runs
AFG: 136/8CRR: 7.15 • RRR: 24.00 • Need 24 from 6b
Dawlat Zadran8 (4)
Gulbadin Naib5 (12)
Irfan Pathan4-0-29-1
Lakshmipathy Balaji3-0-19-1
Pathan to Zadran, FOUR runs

a slower ball, full and outside leg, the bastman skips away beyond leg stump and murders that to the midwicket boundary, 24 needed now off the final over

Pathan to Zadran, FOUR runs

pitched up and that is crashed through extra cover, powerful hit that, 28 off 7 now

Pathan to Zadran, no run

a bouncer from Irfan, scares the No. 10 batsman, who waves his bat at it and misses

Pathan to Gulbadin, 1 run

top-edges that shortish ball, loops over the bowler's head, lands safely between mid-on and mid-off

Pathan to Gulbadin, no run

a low full toss is sent towards sweeper cover, Naib declines the single, no the smartest move at this stage, especially when you have made 4 off 11


Pathan to Gulbadin, (no ball)

Irfan oversteps, a short of length ball angling in, the batsman looks to hammer that to the leg side but mishits it

Shashi: "No matter who wins, Afganistan is the winner to me. They have fought their hearts out and played like the fearless pathans! India will have to think seriously about the rest of the matches. The competition only gets tougher from here."

Pathan to Gulbadin, no run

shortish and outside off, looks to chop that over point and misses

end of over 187 runs • 1 wicket
AFG: 126/8CRR: 7.00 • RRR: 17.00 • Need 34 from 12b
Dawlat Zadran0 (1)
Gulbadin Naib4 (8)
Lakshmipathy Balaji3-0-19-1
Ravichandran Ashwin4-0-20-2
Balaji to Zadran, no run

looking for an adventurous shot, walking across the stumps and trying to help it to fine leg, he misses and the ball sails over middle stump

Balaji to Gulbadin, 1 run

shortish ball is slapped towards deep square leg for a single

Sri Hari sent this a while ago: "Not a good time to be watching the game if you're dyslexic. Naib and Nabi are going to look like the same person."

Balaji to Gulbadin, OUT

slow bouncer this time from Balaji, looking to pull again but misses, struck on the body, Najibullah has a hamstring problem and has been struggling to run, he sets off for a single, Naib wasn't interested which meant the hobbling Najibullah has to turn back and try make his ground, the throw from Dhoni is to the bowler, Balaji collects and breaks the stumps with his arm, early enough to beat the dive from Najibullah, after many replays, the umpires are convinced it is, Afghanistan lose their eighth

Najibullah Zadran run out (†Dhoni/Balaji) 5 (7m 2b 1x4 0x6) SR: 250
Balaji to Gulbadin, no run

there's the Balaji bouncer, the batsman looks to club that to the leg side, misses

Balaji to Najib, 1 run

worked towards sweeper cover for one

Balaji to Najib, FOUR runs

length ball angling across, an effortless hit towards sweeper cover, I was waiting to for the camera to pan out and show the fielder in the deep, there wasn't one, a nonchalant boundary

Balaji to Najib, 1 wide

short and down the leg side, poor start from Balaji

end of over 173 runs • 1 wicket
AFG: 119/7CRR: 7.00 • RRR: 13.67 • Need 41 from 18b
Gulbadin Naib3 (5)
Najibullah Zadran0 (0)
Ravichandran Ashwin4-0-20-2
Zaheer Khan3-0-32-0
Ashwin to Gulbadin, no run

the carrom ball first up, watchfully defended by Gulbodin

Ashwin to M Nabi, OUT

Ashwin has got the dangerman, he pauses an eternity before delivering, waiting to see what the batsman will do, Nabi charges out to meet the delivery, looks to hammer it but edges it, loops towards mid-off where Rohit awaits

Mohammad Nabi c Sharma b Ashwin 31 (23m 17b 2x4 2x6) SR: 182.35
Ashwin to Gulbadin, 1 run

swings this one towards deep midwicket

Best performances - batsmen
Virat Kohli player portrait
V Kohli
50 runs (39)
4 fours
2 sixes
Productive shot
off side drive on front foot
26 runs
4 fours
1 six
Suresh Raina portrait
SK Raina
38 runs (33)
6 fours
0 sixes
Productive shot
off side drive on front foot
12 runs
1 four
0 sixes
Best performances - bowlers
Laxmipathy Balaji portrait
L Balaji
Yuvraj Singh portrait
Yuvraj Singh
Match details
R.Premadasa Stadium, Khettarama, Colombo
TossAfghanistan, elected to field first
SeriesICC World Twenty20
Player Of The Match
Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli
Match numberT20I no. 265
Hours of play (local time)19.30 start, First Session 19.30-20.50, Interval 20.50-21.10, Second Session 21.10-22.30
Match days19 September 2012 - night match (20-over match)
T20I debut
Najibullah Zadran
Najibullah Zadran
Pakistan Image
Asad Rauf
Australia Image
Simon Taufel
TV Umpire
Pakistan Image
Aleem Dar
Reserve Umpire
Sri Lanka Image
Kumar Dharmasena
Match Referee
Sri Lanka Image
Ranjan Madugalle
PointsIndia 2, Afghanistan 0