Afghanistan are going to go down swinging! Or, at least Shahzad is as he hoicks Pathan out to wide long on for his first boundary. Pathan responds with a bouncer, but Afghanistan will be pleased to take seven from the over.
Shahzad opens the chase by flaying a full delivery up and over mid-off, the ball being pulled back just inside the ropes by Gambhir. That'll set the tone for the innings, I feel. A leg bye and nudged single from the much more circumspect Mangal make it four from the over.
Well, things might've turned out worse for Afghanistan, but they could have turned out much better too had they held onto their chances in the field. The Zadrans Dawlat and Shapoor were impressive with the new ball, and India were thankful for Kohli's aggressive fifty. Join us in ten minutes for the chase.
WICKET! Nabi doesn't start his over well, Raina bludgeoning a full toss for four into the leg side and the bowler then spearing down the 14th wide of the innings. He then scoots one under the advancing Raina's bat to bowl the left-hander for 38, but Dhoni tips the balance in India's favour with 10 runs from the final two deliveries.
Dawlat had been one of Afghanistan's better bowlers today, but he stumbles through his final over and leaks 12 runs. Five of those come in wides as he sprays one down the leg side, while Dhoni also clubs his first boundary to midwicket.
Raina looks set to finish things off nicely for India. He jumps down the track at Nabi and finds the boundary at deep midwicket as nine runs come from the over.
Yet more comedy from Afghanistan in the field, as the cover sweeper dives over a Raina drive to give away four runs. What's more, he seems to have pulled his hamstring. There's almost a moment of alarm as Raina slams the last ball straight back at Dhoni, striking his captain on the thigh, but the incident is shrugged off with a smile.
WICKET! Finally, they've held one. Dawlat came back into the attack, chaperoning Kohli to fifty ... but the Indian right-hander then attempted another of his lofted strokes down the ground. The execution wasn't quite right, Kohli slicing underneath the ball, and Nabi manages to cling on at long off. Sweet relief. Captain MS Dhoni ambles out to the middle. That's a great return by Dawlat, who keeps them to just four runs and now has 1 for 13 from three overs.
Another chance goes down! This is really going to deflate Afghanistan. Allrounder Samiullah Shenwari is brought on to bowl some loopy legspin, and Raina slices his first ball over backward point for four. Raina then jumps out at the final delivery, but a leading edge spirals up above the cover fielder, Izzat. He's on as a sub, and can barely get a hand to the chance. They're falling apart.
Shapoor comes back into the attack, but is spanked for fours by both Kohli and Raina. The left-handed Raina then flaps a full toss to deep midwicket to take India beyond 100. In between times, Shahzad has decided that the blow he took to the knee earlier has become to painful to tolerate, and leaves the field for treatment. Sadiq takes the wicketkeeper's gloves in his absence.
Another drop! Kohli this time. This will really hurt Afghanistan. The batsman stepped down the track and aimed a flat hit towards long-on. Shenwari got to the ball inside the rope, but it burst right through his fingers and went for six. He flings the ball back onto the field in disgust. Sadiq sinks to the ground. Afghanistan can't let their heads droop too much here. They've got to keep fighting.
Nabi drops another! Oh dear. This was a much easier chance. Raina drove the ball in the air straight back to him, but it slipped through his fingers - and his legs - and hit the turf. Nabi is livid with himself, and grumbles his way through the rest of the over. How costly could that missed chance be?
WICKET! Sadiq is the unlikely wicket-taker, as he fires down a quicker one outside off and Yuvraj's sliced cut flies straight to Shapoor at short third man. That'll certainly lift Afghanistan, and Sadiq hurries through the rest of the over, giving away just four singles. I wonder if Taj Malik, Sadiq's brother and one of the founders of Afghanistan's cricket team, is at the ground?
MCC cricketer Mohammad Nabi comes on to twirl down his offbreaks, and he very nearly gets the breakthrough! Yuvraj gave him the charge but couldn't quite get to the pitch of the delivery, popping the drive back towards the bowler's outstretched hands ... Nabi got a hand to it, parrying the ball up Jonty Rhodes-style, but couldn't twist around quickly enough to hold onto the rebound. He does fire a throw at the non-striker's stumps though, and had he hit Kohli would've been out. He then rather ruins the over by spearing down three leg-side wides ...
Mangal operates his bowlers in two-over spells as Sadiq gets a second. The Kohli show continues as he skips down the track and drills a straight drive down the ground to move into the 20s. Nine runs from the over takes India to 60.
Gulbodin, it appears, has a pretty nifty slower ball. Virat's having no trouble picking him, however, and he sends a half volley sailing straight back over the bowler's head for his first six. A great strike, gunbarrel straight. And that brings up India's fifty. Afghanistan would fancy another wicket right about now.
Mangal calls upon Sadiq's short-limbed offbreaks. He operates round the wicket to both batsmen, and is milked into the leg side for five singles before good placement brings Yuvraj two runs from the final delivery. A steady over that neither team will be too displeased with.
Gulbodin Naib comes into the attack with his medium pace, and Kohli offers a hint of the sort of form he's in with a caressed drive, on the up, to the cover boundary. The young bowler responds well, restricting the batsmen to just a single off the next four deliveries with a persistently full length.
WICKET! Shapoor has another, and it's the big wicket of Sehwag! A classic left-armer's dismissal, curling one across Sehwag, who could only poke at it with zero foot movement. Shahzad already had a smile on his face when he snaffled the chance. Joy is writ large all over Afghanistan's faces. They're loving this. Yuvraj is having none of it, and is off the mark with a smoked six over long on. That's quite a statement.
Dawlat strings together four dot balls in a row to Kohli, and might have had a fifth as Kohli drives straight towards Nabi in the covers ... but the ball bobbles on the sandy, potholed outfield, and a misdirected shy allows them an overthrow. Dawlat ends a fine, probing over by finding the inside edge of a Sehwag heave with a slower offcutter, the ball rolling down to fine leg. That could easily have ricocheted onto the stumps. Afghanistan are holding their own out there!
WICKET! Shapoor Zadran strikes! Gambhir poked leaden-footed from the crease, and a length delivery took the inside edge before cannoning onto the stumps. Shapoor screams his celebration, and they'll be celebrating in his home province of Logar. He then fires one past Sehwag's outside edge, Shahzad taking the ball above his head. Good pace and bounce. Sehwag responds with an uppishly flicked four to deep midwicket, but Shapoor restores the balance by beating his outside edge yet again to end the over. If you'd like to find me on Twitter for cricket-related updates, here's my handle: gomorezvidinha.
Almost the first wicket for Afghanistan! Dawlat's very first delivery popped up at Gambhir as the left-hander shaped for a nudge to leg, and a leading edge fell agonisingly short of the man running in from mid-off. Gambhir had ambled out for a single, and he might've been run out too, had the shy hit! Gosh, India seem a little more nervous than Afghanistan out there right now. Gambhir settles in with a neat glance to the fine leg boundary, but then bottom-edges a booming drive to end the over. The keeper, Mohammad Shahzad, is struck a painful blow on the knee as the ball lands in front of him, but he should be fine.
Afghanistan are really pumped up for this, and Shapoor Zadran ends his first over with - if the speedguns are to be believed - a 93mph zinger that beats Gambhir for pace and strikes him amidships. Not much movement through the air for the tall, left-armed Zadran, but some steady bowling denies Sehwag and Gambhir a boundary.
It's cooled off a fair bit after sunset, but humidity will still have a part to play this evening. As we saw in the match between Australia and Ireland, the new ball will zip through and bounce should generally be true. It's a good batting track, without too much in it for the spinners. Although, as MS pointed out, it'll probably slow up a touch later.
Afghanistan have won the toss, and have decided to field first. Nawroz Mangal, their captain, reckons batting is Afghanistan's stronger suit, and they fancy a chase. This match is being played on the same track used by Australia and Ireland, and Indian captain MS Dhoni thinks it may slow up a little over the course of the evening.
Ireland couldn't manage an upset against Australia at the same venue earlier in the day, so how will the Afghans fare against the former champions? Stay tuned to find out, the game gets under way in an hour, and the toss is in 30-odd minutes.
Hello and welcome to our over-by-over commentary of the World Twenty20 Group A fixture between India and Afghanistan at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.