Following his side’s six-wicket win over Afghanistan in the first T20I, Indian all-rounder Shivam Dube said that batting at number four was pressurising for him but still stuck to his style of cricket. Dube celebrated his comeback to Indian team in style as an unbeaten half-century and a wicket helped India secure a six-wicket win over Afghanistan in the first T20I in Mohali on Thursday.
“I think it was really cold but I enjoyed playing on this ground. Playing after a long time and batting at No. 4 was a bit of pressure for me but I had one thing on my mind that I had to play my style of cricket. From my style, I feel a bit of pressure first 2-3 balls but after that I think about the ball and do not think too much. I know I can hit big sixes in T20s, so I know I can get runs anyway. (Rohit chat post game) He said I played really well and that we’ll chat to improve my game in upcoming games. Today I got the opportunity and executed what I had to in bowling,” said Dube in post-match presentation.
Coming to the match, put to bat first by India, Afghanistan had a good start, with skipper Ibrahim Zadran (25 in 22 balls, with two fours and a six) and Rahmanullah Gurbaz (23 in 28 balls, with two fours and a six) adding 50 runs for the first wicket.
After Indian bowlers reduced Afghanistan to 57/3, A 68-run partnership between Azmatullah Omarzai (29 in 22 balls, with two fours and a six) and Mohammed Nabi (42 in 27 balls, with two fours and three sixes) brought them back into the match. A solid partnership between Najibullah Zadran (19*) and Karim Janat (9*) at the back end of the innings took them to 158/5 in 20 overs.
Axar Patel (2/23) and Mukesh Kumar (2/33) were the pick of the bowlers for India. Shivam Dube got one wicket.
In the chase of 159, India lost skipper Rohit Sharma for a duck on his return to T20Is. Shubman Gill (23 in 12 balls, five fours) showed intent but could not convert his start into big score. A 44-run stand between Shivam Dube and Tilak Varma (26 in 22 balls, with two fours and a six) brought India back into the match. Later, a 45-run stand between Shivam and Jitesh Sharma (31 in 20 balls, with five fours) took India close to a win. Dube scored his second T20I half-century, getting 60 in 40 balls with five fours and two sixes and joined forces with Rinku Singh (16*) to win the game for India.
Mujeeb ur Rahman took two wickets for Afghanistan, while Omarzai got a wicket.
India is 1-0 up in the series with two games to go. Dube was given the ‘Player of the Series’ award.
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