IND vs AFG, World Cup 2023: Rohit Sharma blitzkrieg sets up India’s win over Afghanistan

Rohit Sharma led the side from the front with a record-breaking hundred as India beat Afghanistan by eight wickets, and moved second in the points table, behind New Zealand.

Published : Oct 11, 2023 21:16 IST , New Delhi - 3 MINS READ

Indian captain Rohit Sharma after scoring a century against Afghanistan.
Indian captain Rohit Sharma after scoring a century against Afghanistan. | Photo Credit: MOORTHY RV/The Hindu

Indian captain Rohit Sharma after scoring a century against Afghanistan. | Photo Credit: MOORTHY RV/The Hindu

Rohit Sharma’s incandescent shots lit up the Delhi skies as India cantered to an eight-wicket victory over Afghanistan in the World Cup match at the Arun Jaitley Stadium here on Wednesday. The skipper’s 131 (84b, 16x4, 5x6) was the foundation from which the Men in Blue leapt past Afghanistan’s 272 for eight as India finished with 273 for two in 35 overs.

India sped away from the starting blocks as Rohit unfurled his full bouquet of strokes while Ishan Kishan played second-fiddle. A flick for four off Fazalhaq Farooqi whetted Rohit’s appetite and then the aesthetic dismantling of the Afghanistan attack commenced. Mujeeb Ur Rahman was pulled and the six-four duopoly was unveiled against Naveen-ul-Haq, Farooqi and Azmatullah Omarzai.

Rohit raced to his 50 off 30 deliveries. Kishan then swept and lofted Mohammad Nabi. Even when Rashid Khan was introduced, the Indian openers remained comfortable and with that Afghanistan’s spin threat was nullified. A glide for four past third-man off Nabi followed by a single ushered in Rohit’s 100 off a mere 63 balls. The helmet was removed, the head swivelled towards the skies and the upheld bat acknowledged the cheers of his team-mates and the fans.


The skipper and his ally posted 156 runs for the first wicket before Kishan spooned a catch off Rashid. The crowd paused a bit and then shredded its vocal chords cheering for home boy Virat Kohli, who was all ease with stylish fours and rapid singles. Even after Rohit was bowled attempting a slog sweep to Rashid, there was no stopping India’s victory march with Virat (55 n.o.) and Shreyas Iyer cruising smooth.

Earlier in the afternoon, Afghanistan skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi won the toss and elected to bat. Openers Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran seemed at ease and it helped that Mohammed Siraj’s radar was a bit awry. Ibrahim drove and flicked and Gurbaz cover drove with elan. The batter then slashed Jasprit Bumrah for four, but the speedster had his vengeance, inducing an edge.


When Hardik Pandya and Shardul Thakur bowled, the latter having replaced R. Ashwin in the playing eleven, Gurbaz freed his arms, a punch and a lofted six ensued. The aggrieved bowlers then combined well to dismiss the batter. Hardik dug in short, Gurbaz hooked and Thakur, stationed at fine-leg, was off-balance but caught the ball, threw it in the air, crossed the rope, leapt back in and caught again. Later Thakur scalped Rahmat Shah.

At 63 for three in 13.1 overs, Afghanistan needed a stabilising partnership while India pressed spin into service through Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja. Shahidi and Azmatullah farmed the strike before the latter finally broke loose against Kuldeep and Jadeja. When the seamers got back, Shahidi slashed and square-drove while Azmatullah picked the midwicket fence. The two added 121 for the fourth wicket when Hardik castled Azmatullah (62) and later Kuldeep trapped Shahidi (80). India wrested the initiative and kept it that way for the rest of the night with Rohit being the brightest star.

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