ICC World Cup 2023: India thrash Afghanistan by eight wickets

India beat Afghanistan by eight wickets in their In the ICC World Cup 2023 match at Arun Jaitley Stadium. Indian captain Rohit Sharma was the standout performer, notching up his record-breaking seventh century in an ODI World Cup. He scored 131 runs, supported by Jasprit Bumrah’s impressive bowling figures of 4/39, which helped restrict Afghanistan to 271/8 despite their skipper Hasmatullah Shahidi’s commendable 80 runs.

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Rohit Sharma’s innings was a fireworks display of records. He became the joint-fastest to reach 1000 runs in World Cup history, sharing the record with David Warner at 19 innings each. Additionally, he surpassed Chris Gayle’s record for the most sixes (553) in ODIs, achieved the distinction of the most centuries in a 50-over World Cup (7), and set a new mark for the fastest century by an Indian at the World Cup, requiring just 63 balls to achieve this feat during his 31st ODI century.

India’s chase began with a blistering assault by Rohit Sharma in the third over, as he hit Fazalhaq Farooqi for a boundary through the square leg region. Faroozi faced the brunt of Rohit’s aggression over his next two overs, as the Indian opener dispatched him for two sixes and four boundaries, propelling India past the 50-run mark by the beginning of the seventh over.

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Ishan Kishan played a supporting role as Rohit reached his half-century with a single in the following over. The Afghan bowlers found no respite during the powerplay, and India reached 94/0 by the end of the 10th over, with the Indian captain at 77 not out in just 43 deliveries.

Although Rohit appeared to ease his intensity after the powerplay, he later unleashed an onslaught against spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman in the 14th over, striking three boundaries. Rohit reached his century in the 18th over, with India crossing the 150-run mark. Kishan, who was closing in on his maiden World Cup half-century, fell for 47 to Rashid Khan, ending their partnership at 156 runs. This wicket highlighted a missed opportunity by Afghanistan’s captain, Hasmatullah Shahidi, for not deploying his best bowler earlier.

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Rohit continued to dominate with Virat Kohli, adding 49 more runs for the second wicket. Rohit’s innings concluded at 131 off 84 balls, featuring 15 fours and five sixes, as Rashid Khan dismissed him in the 26th over. However, the damage had already been done, with India requiring just 67 runs with 24 overs remaining. Virat Kohli and Shreyas Iyer sealed the victory, with an unbeaten 68-run partnership for the fourth wicket, guiding India to a total of 273 with eight wickets and 90 balls to spare. Kohli reached his 68th half-century with 55 not out, while Shreyas Iyer contributed 25 not out.

In the first innings, Afghanistan managed to put 272/8 on the scoreboard after opting to bat first. Hasmatullah Shahidi (80) and Azmatullah Omarzai (62) constructed a crucial 121-run partnership for the fourth wicket, laying the foundation for a competitive total. However, Jasprit Bumrah’s outstanding bowling performance of 4/39 shifted the momentum in India’s favor, marking his best bowling spell in a 50-over World Cup.

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