Rohit Sharma made a tame comeback to T20Is, getting run out for zero, although India defeated Afghanistan in the first game in Mohali. Shivam Dube had a more successful return, taking 1/9 and then scoring an unbeaten half-century, as the Men in Blue successfully chased 159.
Dube showcased his batting skills against both spin and pace after dismissing Afghanistan captain Ibrahim Zadran with a well-placed delivery. IPL star Jitesh Sharma came in to bat in the ninth over and smashed 31 runs off 20 balls. The Men in Blue put up a dominant display despite not featuring many of its star players.
6⃣,4⃣ and Shivam Dube wraps the chase in style 🙌#TeamIndia win by 6 wickets and take a 1-0 lead in the T20I series 👏👏
— BCCI (@BCCI) January 11, 2024
Arshdeep Singh began his spell with a maiden, before Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim found their rhythm in the powerplay. Ibrahim could have been out for 1 but Dube dropped a catch at mid-off in the third over. However, India’s all-rounder got Ibrahim caught at short cover in the ninth over. Just as Gurbaz looked set to accelerate, Axar Patel dismissed him for 23 off 28 balls.
Axar took two crucial wickets, including that of T20I debutant Rahmat Shah for 3 off 5 balls. He finished with impressive figures of 2/23 in his four overs. Washington Sundar, meanwhile, bowled a tight penultimate over, giving away 13 runs and almost taking a tough return catch.
Mohammad Nabi (42), Azmatullah Omarzai (29), and Najibullah Zadran (19*) boosted Afghanistan’s innings in the slog overs. Despite Omarzai and Nabi departing in the same over, Najibullah’s efforts helped Afghanistan reach a competitive total.