Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - India cap Kohli-Shastri era with a facile win over Namibia. The veteran duo of Ashwin and Jadeja combined to derail Namibia's innings
The veteran duo of Ashwin and Jadeja combined to derail Namibia's innings
In a nutshell
Led by half-centuries from Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul, to back up three-fers by R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, India comfortably chased down the 133-run target – in 15.2 overs – to secure a nine-wicket win over Namibia in a dead-rubber, in Dubai, on Monday.
What context did this match hold?
Nothing from the perspective of the tournament. But it was Virat Kohli's last game as India's T20I captain, and the last for the successful coaching trio of Ravi Shastri, Bharat Arun and R Sridhar. A victory or defeat didn't mean much for either sides, but there were emotions all around. For Namibia, it was about putting in another show worthy of attention in a tournament where they have punched above their weight, hoping to inspire more people in the country to take up the sport.
Another good day for Rohit?
Yes. Rohit Sharma was a bit fortunate to begin with, when he glanced the second ball of his innings to the fielder at short fine leg. The fielder not only dropped the catch but also allowed it to trickle for a boundary. However, after a few hits and misses, the Indian opener found his fluency, and with it, a regular flow of boundaries.
He played the primary role in the opening partnership as they picked 54 runs in the powerplay. Through the course of his innings, Rohit also became the third player to notch up 3000 T20I runs – after Virat Kohli and Martin Guptill. He caressed seven boundaries and two sixes through the course of his 37-ball stay, falling soon after his second successive half-century of the tournament, and 24th of his career.
What happened after he was dismissed?
However, even as Rohit departed after an 86-run opening stand, KL Rahul and Suryakumar Yadav didn't allow Namibia to assert themselves in the contest. Rahul, who looked scratchy early on, unleashed his fluent strokeplay soon after Rohit's fall. Once he broke free, he was at his sublime best, especially with his flick shots. Suryakumar, promoted to No 3, took little time to bring forth his array of strokes – whether it was the inside-out shot over covers or a paddle scoop, leaving the bowlers helpless with their plans.
How were Namibia with their innings?
Put in to bat, Michael van Lingen and Stephan Baard got Namibia to a steady start without taking too many risks. While van Lingen was quick to pounce on the loose balls, Baard was a bit more audacious – swatting a half-volley by Shami for a six. The duo added 33 runs before van Lingen flat-batted Bumrah's delivery to Shami at mid off in the fifth over.
The old times with Ashwin and Jadeja
Before the Scotland game, for nearly four years, R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja hadn't been included in the same XI for a white ball game. However, the veteran duo combined to derail Namibia's innings. On a pitch aiding the slow bowlers, they kept a leash on their scoring rate as also kept chipping away wickets. For 11 overs at a stretch in the middle overs, spin was employed by Virat Kohli, and Namibia in that period managed to score only 62 runs and lost six wickets – three each for Ashwin and Jadeja.
Rahul Chahar, who got his first match of the tournament, couldn't impose himself as well and conceded 30 runs in his spell. David Wiese, in specific, had trouble against the leggie.
Did Namibia recover?
Yes. Even as Wiese remained unbeaten by the time the spinners were out of operation, he was undone by Bumrah's slower delivery, which he scooped to Rohit at extra cover. However, Jan Frylinck and Ruben Trumpelmann provided some late flourish which helped the side to a fairly competitive 132 for 8, which in the end proved too little for India's top order.
Brief Scores: Namibia 132/8 in 20 overs (David Wiese 26, Stephan Baard 21; Ravindra Jadeja 3-16, R Ashwin 3-20) lost to India 136/1 in 15.2 overs (Rohit Sharma 56, KL Rahul 54*) by 9 wickets