Dubai, Sep 8 (IANS) Already out of the tournament, India signed off from Asia Cup 2022 on a high with a 101-run thrashing of Afghanistan in their final Super Four match at the Dubai International Stadium on Thursday.
In a dead rubber, talismanic batter Virat Kohli gave Indian fans tons of reasons to be happy. As captain Rohit Sharma was rested, Kohli was promoted to open the batting. What followed next was something which anyone could have predicted, leaving Kohli himself surprised.
Kohli ended his drought of not scoring a century in international cricket for 1020 days with a sensational career-best 122 off just 61 balls, laced with 12 fours and six sixes, at a strike-rate of 200.
After a rollicking opening stand of 119 off 76 balls, with stand-in captain KL Rahul making 65 of those runs, Kohli accelerated amazingly from 59 off 40 balls to get his next 63 runs off just 21 balls to score a long-standing 71st international century. On the back of Kohli’s century, India made a mammoth 212/2.
Then, senior pacer Bhuvneshwar’s spell of 5/4, with lots of swing and hitting the right areas consistently, dismantled the Afghanistan challenge, eventually restricting them to 111/8 in 20 overs.
It was a day to forget for Afghanistan, who arrived into this game less than 24 hours after a one-wicket heartbreak against Pakistan in Sharjah. They dropped catches, including of Kohli on 28, looked jaded and simply weren’t at their best.
Brief Scores: India 212/2 in 20 overs (Virat Kohli 122 not out, KL Rahul 62; Fareed Malik 2/57) beat Afghanistan 111/8 in 20 overs (Ibrahim Zadran 64 not out, Mujeeb Ur Rahman 18; Bhuvneshwar Kumar 5/4, Deepak Hooda 1/3) by 101 runs