Jadeja, Ashwin, Rohit and Rahul help India end their campaign with a positive note
India 136/1 in 15.2 overs (Rohit Sharma 56, KL Rahul 54*; Jan Frylinck 1/19) defeat Namibia 132/8 in 20 overs (David Wiese 26, Stephan Baard 21; Ravindra Jadeja 3/16, Ravichandran Ashwin 3/20) by 9 wickets
Both teams, having had their hopes crushed of qualifying into the semis of the multi-team T20 tournament, walked into the field to play their last game of the campaign and bow out of the tournament on a winning note. India would be looking to give a fitting farewell to their Head Coach Ravi Shastri whilst giving Virat Kohli's T20I captaincy stint a sublime finish.
Finally, the stars aligned in the favour of captain Virat Kohli, the Indian skipper grabbed the driving seat and sent the underdogs to bat first.
Namibia failed to capitalise on good start
Namibia opened the innings on a confident note with calm and composed openers Stephen Baard and Michael van Lingen taking the crease. The duo in their persistent approach aggregated 33 runs for the first wicket of just 4.3 overs and aimed to attain a stronghold of the game in the powerplay. However, the pair was split in the fifth over as Jasprit Bumrah struck and got India and himself the first breakthrough. He dismissed Lingen for just 14 runs, who woefully mistimed the ball for a biggie only to get caught by Mohammad Shami at the mid-off.
The second wicket fell shortly when Ravindra Jadeja going by the wicket-taking ritual, dismissed the new batsman Craig Williams for a duck following a stumping from Rishabh Pant in the 6th over.
Namibia managed 34/2 after the powerplay, after having lost two of the top-order batsmen for low scores.
Indian spinners ravage the Namibian batting setup
Spinners found the perfect opportunity to make up the leeway. The Indian spinners suffocated Namibia's batting and compelled them for an average score. While Jadeja removed the top-order batsmen, Ashwin did the duty of gunning down Namibia’s middle order. He took down Jan Loftie-Eaton edging a slow off-break to slip as he was left dumbfounded by Ashwin’s masterclass of a show. Gerhard Erasmus slipped to carrom, while Zane Green fell victim to his drifting off-break. Ashwin's final statistics read 4-0-20-3. Namibia was reduced to a sub-par 132/8 set for the chase.
The ploy of the spin attack played well for skipper Virat Kohli as the duo of Ashwin and Jadeja wreaked havoc by taking three wickets each. Another spinner Rahul Chahar, who played his first game in the tournament went wicketless and conceded 30 runs without inflicting single damage to Namibia. Mohammad Shami also couldn’t create an opening for himself to make an impact as he was unable to enter the wicket's column.
India march home with a resounding victory
Rohit Sharma owned the night returning to his position with a swashbuckling knock, from the greater burden that lies ahead to surviving three bounce mis-hits and a missed catch. He blasted 56 runs off 37 balls and got his second half-century of the competition. He also reached 3000 runs mark in the T20I cricket, the third batsman after Virat Kohli and New Zealand’s Martin Guptill in the list.
On the other end, KL Rahul continued with his mesmerizing form until the very end of his stint in the Indian innings. He hammered an unbeaten 54* runs off 36 balls, laced with four boundaries and two maximums. The opening duo completely dominated the powerplay with their sheer class of dominance as they set up 54 runs in those overs, the highest score of India in the designated powerplay overs in the tournament. India’s scorecard read 54/0 after 6 overs and required only 79 runs off 84 balls to win the game. and the pair's 50-run partnership took just 5.3 overs.
However, Jan Frylinck, the sole wicket-taker of the Namibian team became successful in making Sharma his victim.
With Rohit Sharma going back to the pavilion, Suryakumar Yadav took up the responsibility of giving the finishing touches to the victory-stamped game of the team. He contributed 25 runs in the chase studded with four boundaries.
With 28 balls to spare, India hopped away with a nine-wicket victory, with their scorecard flashing 136/1 as KL Rahul hit the winning runs. India registered the third win in the tournament as the curtain draws down on Virat Kohli’s era as the T20I captain.
Player of the Match
Ravindra Jadeja became the Man of the Match for India for the second time in a row. He took 3/16 in his spell, which is also his best bowling figure in the tournament and helped India reduce Namibia to 132/8 in the stipulated 20 overs. Jadeja is becoming more intimidating to the opposition bowlers in the shortest format.
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