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Asia Cup 2022, Super 4, Ind vs Afg: Kohli finally gets 71st ton; India overpower Afg by 101 runs

Asia Cup 2022, Super 4, India vs Afghanistan: Virat Kohli's 71st ton (122 of 61), KL Rahul's 62 off 41 and Bhuvneshwar Kumar's 5-4 are top performances. India beat Afghanistan by 101 runs. Virat Kohli scores 71st International century.

Asia Cup 2022, Super 4, India vs Afghanistan: Virat Kohli smashes maiden T20I ton (122 off 61) and overall 71st century in International Cricket | Walking Wicket (Photo: ©Associated Press)
Virat Kohli smashes maiden T20Is ton (122 off 61) overall 71st century (Photo: ©Associated Press)

Brief Scores: India 212/2 (Kohli 122*, Rahul 62, Fareed 2-57) beat Afghanistan 111/8 (Zadran 64, Mujeeb 18, Bhuvneshwar 5-4) by 101 runs

Player of the Match: Virat Kohli 122* (61)

Virat Kohli’s much awaited 71st century will be chalked out in bold and gold in every headline for tomorrow. A century after 1020 days and more than 13 records tumbled on Thursday courtesy Virat Kohli and Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s stupendous performances. After two nightmarish 19th overs, Bhuvneshwar was back to his swinging best with a fifer giving away just four runs in his spell of four overs.

India run away with the game posting 200+ score

Even before the match started, India got a surprise when KL Rahul walked out for the toss, indicating rest for regular skipper Rohit Sharma. Mohammad Nabi won the toss and elected to bowl first to not be the odd man out amongst the toss winning captains. India experimented their heart out with Deepak Chahar, Dinesh Karthik and Axar Patel coming in the eleven.

The new opening partners, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli, were off to a flyer. Scoring boundaries at will against Afghanistan who were still looking dejected after their defeat against Pakistan. The energy and the buzz on the field was missing from the start. After bashing every Afghanistan bowler, India completed the first 100 partnership of this tournament. After 12 overs, India were 111-0 striking at 9.25 runs per over. Farooqi then dismissed KL Rahul and Suryakumar Yadav in a span of three deliveries and India were reduced to 125-2 in 13 overs. Kohli smashed the leather of the cricket ball to every nook and corner of the ground leaving Afghanistan bowlers baffled for options. Scoring 18 runs in the 20th over, Kohli helped India post a total of 212 runs.

Afghanistan’s run chase crashed even before the innings took off. Starting with a double wicket over bowled by Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Afghanistan surrendered in the first over itself. Bhuvi did a copy paste by again taking a wicket off the fourth and the sixth delivery of his second over to thread Afghanistan like a mummy in a coffin. After 7 overs, Afghanistan were 21-6. The only Afghanistan nationals left on the ground were the 16 players as every single Afghanistan fan were back home. Though Afghanistan will take surviving the entire 20 overs as a positive from this game from where they were at the end of the seventh over. India recorded a mammoth 101 run victory and their second highest ever victory by margin of runs in T20Is. India won against the tide winning a game batting first in Dubai.

Let’s scan the top three performances from the game between India and Afghanistan in Asia Cup 2022.

Asia Cup 2022, Super 4, India vs Afghanistan_ Virat Kohli scores maiden T20I hundred (122 off 61) and overall 71st century in International Cricket _ Walking Wicket (Photo_ ©AFP_Getty Images)
Virat Kohli smashes hundred after 1020 days and 83 innings (Photo: ©AFP/Getty Images)

A “VIRAT” innings after 84 innings and 1020 days as Kohli smashes first T20I century

A dead rubber was brought to life by the ever so energetic Virat Kohli. Coming in to bat as an opener where he has flourished the most for Royal Challengers Bangalore, Kohli was looking a different batter altogether. Kohli took the attack on Mujeeb Ur Rahman in the sixth over scoring 15 runs where he started to unleash in this innings. The approach was clear from Kohli, Attack! Attack! And only attack!

Kohli’s timing was impeccable in the innings. It turned back time to the vintage Kohli between 2013 to 2016 where he was scoring runs for fun. The cover drives, the flicks, the pulls and the short arm jabs. Everything was on display from Kohli and in some fashion. Smashing everyone from Rashid to Mujeeb to Fareed to Nabi, every single Afghanistan bowler got a taste of Virat’s special innings. The footwork was there against the spinners, the wrist work was there against the pacers, the running between the wickets was there and the ever so famous ‘Virat Kohli attitude’ was there throughout the innings where he carried the bat for India for 120 deliveries for the first time in his T20I career

Not one, not two, not three, Virat Kohli broke as many as 10 records in his fast and furious innings of 122*. Kohli’s 122* was also the highest score by any India batter in T20Is surpassing Rohit Sharma’s 118 against Sri Lanka. This was also the highest ever T20I score in UAE by any player. Virat Kohli also became the fourth Indian to score a century in all three formats and the sixth Indian to smash a T20I hundred. The former captain also became the second Indian and the 10th overall to smash 100 T20I sixes. The 122 runs helped Kohli breach the 3,500 run mark in T20Is and become only the second after Rohit to achieve the feat. He now has 24,000 international runs, Yes! 24K. Only the 7th batter in world cricket to do so and the third Indian after Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid. Kohli also became the fastest to reach the 24,000 run mark in 522 innings, surpassing Tendulkar in 540 innings.

Asia Cup 2022, Super 4, India vs Afghanistan_ Bhuvneshwar Kumar takes five-wicket haul (5-4) against Afghanistan in Super 4 game _ Walking Wicket (Photo_ AFP_Getty Images)
Bhuvi takes five-wicket haul (5-4) against Afghanistan (Photo: AFP/Getty Images)

BhuW,W,W,W,W,neshwar swings Afghanistan back to pavilion

We saw Kohli eating bananas before taking the field and Bhuvneshwar Kumar served banana in swingers to Afghanistan batters on the field. Scores of 0, 0, 2, 0, 1 meant that Afghanistan batters were dialing their loved ones back home as their scorecard was more of a telephone number. Dismissing Hazratullah Zazai off the fourth ball of the innings, Bhuvi set the tone. Bowling a classic Bhuvi inswinger to clean bowled Gurbaz, it was looking more like Bhuvneshwar’s day with the ball.

A perfect Test match outswinger helped Bhuvi get rid of Karim Janat who edged it to Kohli at first slip. Another inswinger to the left-hander resulted in another wicket as Najibullah was trapped right in front of the stumps. To put the bonus on the pay cheque, Bhuvi got his fifer with an absolute peach of a knuckle ball which completely deceived Azmatullah who ended up chipping it to Karthik at covers. The swing king gave us nostalgia of his debut effort against Pakistan, as we saw the inswingers, outswingers, slower deliveries, everything coming like gold dust out of Bhuvneshwar’s hand and Afghanistan batters bent their knees in agony to this masterclass.

It was such a night for Bhuvneshwar where even if he bowled left handed, he would have ended up taking a wicket. Much like Kohli, Bhuvi also broke multiple records on Thursday and became the highest wicket taker for India with 84 wickets surpassing Yuzvendra Chahal (83). Bhuvi also hijacked Bumrah to register the highest number of wickets (31) taken by an Indian in a calendar year.

Asia Cup 2022, Super 4, India vs Afghanistan_ Virat Kohli scores maiden T20I hundred (122 off 61) and overall 71st century in International Cricket _ Walking Wicket (Photo_ ©AFP_Getty Images)
KL Rahul captained India in Rohit 's absence and scored 62 (Photo: ©AFP/Getty Images)

KLassy Rahul comes back to form with an important 62 off 41 deliveries

Donning the captain’s hat, it was a typical captain’s innings from KL Rahul that we have seen in franchise cricket. Starting off slowly and within no time KL switched gears to punish the Afghanistan bowlers. Though not fluent enough, it was a critical knock with respect to the opening stand for India.

Struggling for runs ever since he was back to this Indian setup after an injury, this dead rubber was like a blessing in disguise for KL. What impressed the spectators the most about KL’s innings was the approach, the mindset. It was attacking and he was looking to score runs once he was set unlike Rahul who gets slower and slower as the innings progresses. This innings of Rahul will give a world of confidence especially after a dry run ever since his comeback after the surgery. More than the runs, the amount of time KL spent at the wicket will be critical for India as Rahul and Rohit are looking set to open for India even in the world cup.

Asia Cup 2022, Super 4 Points Table

Asia Cup 2022, Super 4 Points Table
Asia Cup 2022, Super 4 Points Table

What’s to Come

Pakistan and Sri Lanka will do a dress rehearsal of the finals on September 9 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

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