The talismanic batsman Virat Kohli offered Indian supporters several reasons to rejoice during a dead rubber. Kohli was elevated to open the batting position since skipper Rohit Sharma was resting. Anyone might have foreseen what happened next, even Kohli himself was taken aback.
On Thursday, September 8, 2022, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, during the T20 cricket match between India and Afghanistan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, third from the left, celebrates with teammates after Karim Janat is dismissed. Image/AP, PTI
India ended Asia Cup 2022 on a high note by thumping Afghanistan by 101 runs in their last Super Four game on Thursday at the Dubai International Stadium, even though they were already eliminated from the competition. The talismanic batsman Virat Kohli offered Indian supporters several reasons to rejoice during a dead rubber. Kohli was elevated to open the batting position since skipper Rohit Sharma was resting. Anyone might have foreseen what happened next, even Kohli himself was taken aback.
With a spectacular career-best 122 off only 61 balls, packed with 12 fours and six sixes, at a strike rate of 200, Kohli snapped a 1020-day international cricket century drought. Kohli surged spectacularly from 59 off 40 balls to collect his next 63 runs off just 21 balls to make a historic 71st international century after an exhilarating opening partnership of 119 off 76 balls, in which stand-in skipper KL Rahul made 65 runs. India scored a massive 212/2 thanks to Kohli’s century.
Then, veteran bowler Bhuvneshwar’s 5/4 stint, which included heavy swing and continuous right-field hits, destroyed Afghanistan’s challenge and finally limited them to 111/8 in 20 overs. Less than 24 hours had passed since Afghanistan’s heartbreaking one-wicket loss to Pakistan in Sharjah, so it was a day to forget for them. They missed opportunities, including one with Kohli on 28, were jaded, and weren’t performing at their peak.
Afghanistan scored 111/8 in 20 overs (Ibrahim Zadran 64 not out, Mujeeb Ur Rahman 18; Bhuvneshwar Kumar 5/4, Deepak Hooda 1/3), losing to India 212/2 in 20 overs (Virat Kohli 122 not out, KL Rahul 62; Fareed Malik 2/57) by 101 runs.