India overwhelm Test debutants Afghanistan

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Bengaluru, June 15 (IANS) India took full advantage of Afghanistan’s inexperience in red ball cricket, dismissing them twice on the second day to romp home by an innings and 262 runs in the one-off Test at the M.Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Friday.

India lived up to their billing as the No.1 ranked Test side, by riding on a collective team effort that saw them posting a commanding 474 in their first innings before the bowlers joined the party to dismiss the rookie visitors twice in two consecutive sessions.

After being bowled out for a paltry 109 in the first innings, the visitors were once again skittled out in a single session for 103 in their second essay.

Left-hander Hashmatullah Shahidi (36 not out) waged a lone battle, showing great resilience against a disciplined Indian bowling unit but failed to find support from the other batsmen who still seem to be in the T20 mould.

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Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja (4/17) and pacer Umesh Yadav (3/26) were the wreckers-in-chief in the second innings as the duo exposed the inexperienced Afghan line-up not once but twice in the same day.

Umesh started the onslaught in the second innings by ripping through the Afghan top order, which saw Mohammed Shahzad (13), Javed Ahmadi (3) and Mohammad Nabi (0) back in the hut with just 22 runs on the board.

Umesh’s fellow pacer Ishant Sharma then struck with the wicket of Rahmat Shah (4) before Jadeja joined the party with the wickets of skipper Asghar Stanikzai (25), stumper Afsar Zazai (1) and Rashid Khan (12) in no time.

Ishant then jolted the visitors again by breaking through the defences of Yamin Ahmadzai (1) as the Afghans started looking down the barrel.

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Jadeja then came back to pack Mujeeb Ur Rahman (3) while last man Wafadar fell for a duck to offie Ravichandran Ashwin, giving India a handsome win within two days.

Earlier, in the first innings, star off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin led from the front with four wickets to bowl Afghanistan out for a meagre 109, the lowest total at the Chinnaswamy Stadium.

Ashwin was well supported by Jadeja and Ishant, who picked up two wickets each to dismiss the visitors inside the second session.

Earlier, No.1 ranked India rode on centuries from Shikhar Dhawan (107) and Murali Vijay (105) and fluent half centuries from Lokesh Rahul (51) and all-rounder Hardik Pandya (71) to post a commanding 474 in their first innings.

India managed to add 127 runs to their overnight total of 347/6 on the second morning, thanks to Pandya’s third Test half century and coupled with some cameos from the tailenders.

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For Afghanistan, pacer Yamin Ahmadzai was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets while fellow quick Wafadar and wrist spinner Rashid Khan chipped in with two wickets each.

–IANS

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