Senior pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar blew the top-order away with his skillful bowling to record his career-best T20I figures as India beat Afghanistan by 101 runs in a dead-rubber match of Super Four stage in Asia Cup 2022 at the Dubai International Stadium on Thursday.
After Virat Kohli ended his drought of not scoring a century in international cricket for 1020 days with a sensational career-best 122 off just 61 balls to power India to 212/2, Bhuvneshwar’s spell of 5/4 dismantled the Afghanistan challenge, restricting them to 111/8 in 20 overs.
Bhuvneshwar was right on the money from the word go, shaping one back in to trap Hazratullah Zazai lbw. Two balls later, he produced an absolute jaffa to shatter Rahmanullah Gurbaz’s stumps to send both openers back to pavilion in the opening over.
Swinging the ball both ways and relentlessly pitching in right areas, Bhuvneshwar was making Afghanistan batters dance to his tunes. Karim Janat gave a thick edge to first slip on an outswinger while Najibullah Zadran missed his flick and trapped lbw on an inswinger.
After Arshdeep Singh trapped Mohammad Nabi lbw, Bhuvneshwar completed his five-wicket haul by having Azmatullah Omarzai chipping a knuckle ball straight to cover. Rashid Khan hit a couple of boundaries before holing out in the deep off Deepak Hooda’s first ball.
Ibrahim Zadran struck some boundaries while Mujeeb Ur Rahman played the long handle against Ravichandran Ashwin. Though Mujeeb eventually was castled by Ashwin, Zadran got his fifty with sixes off Dinesh Karthik in the final over. But, by then, the result was a foregone conclusion.