Cricket-Kohli's brisk fifty helps India beat Afghanistan
COLOMBO, Sept 19 |
COLOMBO, Sept 19 (Reuters) - Virat Kohli scored a 39-ball half century to help India beat Afghanistan by 23 runs in their opening Group A match at the Twenty20 World Cup on Wednesday.
In-form and reliable Kohli, along with Suresh Raina, helped India post a score of 159, sharing a 46-run fourth wicket stand off just 33 balls.
India bowled out Afghanistan for 136 runs in 19.3 overs with Yuvraj Singh and Lakshmipathy Balaji capturing three wickets each.
Kohli also shared in a 46-run partnership with Yuvraj for the third wicket in 36 balls.
Yuvraj, playing in a major tournament for the first time after cancer treatment, fell for 18 off 20 balls.
Kohli 50 included four boundaries and two sixes, while Raina finished with 38 runs in 33 balls including six fours, after being dropped twice at two and 19.
Afghanistan, who chose to field first, contained aggressive the Indian batsmen in the power play as fast bowler Shapoor Zardar removed both Gautam Gambhir (10) and Virender Sehwag (eight) and limited India to 22 for two in 4.1 overs.
But Kohli's partnerships with Yuvraj and Raina helped India to score almost eight runs per over and post a total that was just out of reach for Afghanistan. (Reporting by Shihar Aneez; Editing by Josh Reich)
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