Cricket-Suryakumar, Bumrah fire as India sink Afghanistan

By John Mehaffey

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (Reuters) -India swept to a 47-run victory over Afghanistan in their T20 World Cup Super Eight clash after Suryakumar Yadav struck his second successive half-century and Jasprit Bumrah proved his worth with the ball on Thursday.

Player-of-the-match Suryakumar's audacious 53 from 28 balls propelled India to a daunting 181-8. In reply, Afghanistan were always behind the required run rate and finished on 134 all out from the final ball of the match.

Fast bowler Bumrah proved virtually unplayable, taking three for seven runs from his four overs.

Afghanistan left-arm paceman Fazalhaq Farooqi and off-spinner Mohammad Nabi opened the bowling on a hot, humid day at Kensington Oval.

India captain Rohit Sharma survived an impassioned appeal for lbw off Farooqi when he missed with an ungainly heave to the leg side but he lasted only five balls more before skying a catch to Afghanistan captain Rashid Khan at mid-on to be out for eight.

Naveen-ul-Haq replaced Farooqi and Virat Kohli, who had scored only five runs in his previous three matches, whipped him imperiously through the covers and lofted a six straight over the bowler’s head which hit the sight screen.

Rishabh Pant reverse swept Nabi for four and was then dropped on the boundary by Naveen. The ball crossed the boundary and at the end of the powerplay India were 47 for one.

Rashid took the ball and struck in his first over, dismissing Pant for 20 with his final delivery, lbw attempting a reverse sweep.

He struck again in his second over when Kohli on 24 lofted the ball straight to Nabi on the long-off boundary and then dismissed Shivam Dube lbw for 10.

Suryakumar seized the initiative back for India with two boundaries off Azmatullah Omarzai and a straight six.

Hardik Pandya (32) joined in with a four and a straight six off successive balls from Noor Ahmed.

The pair raised their 50 partnership before Suryakumar was caught but Hardik hit a six on to the top of the Terrace Stand to maintain India's momentum.

Afghanistan lost three wickets in the powerplay, including opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz caught behind for 11 off Bumrah who also dismissed Hazratullah Zazai for two.

They fell steadily behind the required run and still needed 81 off five overs when Bumrah returned.

He struck immediately by dismissing Najibullah Zadran caught for 19 to quash any Afghanistan hopes of an unlikely victory.

"We adapted well and got 180 which was a great effort from the bowlers," Rohit said as India remained unbeaten in the tournament.

"We had class bowlers who defended it perfectly. We know Bumrah's class and what he can do."

(Editing by Ed Osmond)