Afghans crushed in opener

India surge to a seven wicket victory in T20 opener

Last updated: 1st May 2010  

Afghans crushed in opener

Vijay: Vital knock

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India crushed any hopes of a dream start for Afghanistan on the world stage as they won their opening Group C match by seven wickets.

Having set a target of only 116 the Asian minnows struggled to contain Indian batsmen, who passed the Afghanistan total with 31 balls to spare.

The outsiders made 115 for eight in their 20 overs, thanks mainly to opener Noor Ali who made exactly 50 from 48 balls and Asghar Stanikzai, who hit three sixes in an innings of 30.

The pair rescued their side with a fourth wicket stand of 68 following a flurry of early wickets, but the duo perished within four deliveries of each other and were quickly joined by Mohammad Nabi, who perished next ball.

Seamers Ashish Nehra (3-19) and Praveen Kumar (2-14) did the damage for India and the Afghan tail was unable to wag in the final three overs, leaving India with a simple target.

Opening batsman Gautam Gambhir made only four before Dawlat Ahmadzai had him caught by Nabi in the third over, but fellow opener Murali Vijay was swiftly into his stride on his Twenty20 international debut.

Selected in place of the injured Virender Sehwag, Vijay soon made his mark with two fours and three sixes, sharing stands of 27 with Suresh Raina (18) and 55 with Yuvraj Singh (23no) before holing out to Shahpoor Zadran off the bowling of Hamid Hassan.

Yuvraj and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni knocked off the runs without any further alarms, Dhoni making 15 not out off only six deliveries, including two maximums.

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