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Rohit’s magical century guides India to second World Cup triumph

Rohit’s magical century guides India to second World Cup triumph

India has joined New Zealand and Pakistan at the top of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 table after defeating Afghanistan by eight wickets at the Arun Jaitley Stadium, thanks in large part to Rohit Sharma’s record-breaking knock.
With 15 overs to spare, the hosts reached the 273-run target, with their skipper rewriting history.

Rohit’s seventh Cricket World Cup century surpassed compatriot Sachin Tendulkar’s total of six, and he also matched David Warner as the joint-fastest player to 1000 Cricket World Cup runs by innings batted (19).

As opposite number Hashmatullah Shahidi struggled to find a solution, the skipper blazed 131 from just 84 balls, hitting 21 boundaries.

It was the fastest century by an Indian batter in Cricket World Cup history, surpassing legend Kapil Dev’s century against Zimbabwe in 1983.

Eventually, Rohit fell to Rashid Khan, who also took Afghanistan’s other wicket, but India cruised to their victory total with ease, thanks to Virat Kohli (55*) and Shreyas Iyer (25*).

India got off to a fast start in their chase, with the skipper reaching his century in the 18th over as India attempted to close the game early.

Outside of Rashid, who was deployed late in their efforts due to his lofty standards, the Afghans were largely devoid of answers.

Afghanistan 272/8 (50 overs) were defeated by India 273/2 (35 overs) in match 9.
After surviving the first couple of overs, Rohit unleashed his ferocity. He took a boundary from Fazalhaq Farooqi and then turned away without looking back.

Rohit reached his half-century in the eighth over off just 30 balls. Off the fifth ball of that over, the opener hit his third six. This contributed to his total of 554 sixes in international cricket. He surpassed Chris Gayle to become the batter with the most sixes across all formats.

By the end of the first Powerplay, India had already surpassed nine and a half. Rohit improved to 76, while Ishan Kishan remained unbeaten on 11.

Afghanistan captain Hashmatullah won the toss and chose to bat first in Delhi. Opposite number Rohit Sharma stated at the toss that he was happy to field because of the dew and the belief that the wicket would not become any more difficult to bat on.

Afghanistan’s innings was thwarted, with only 61 runs added in the final 10 overs, a rate similar to their middle-over period, thanks in large part to Shahidi and Azmat Omarzai’s 121-run partnership.

Despite losing Azmatullah Omarzai for 62, the captain helped Afghanistan pass the 200-run mark inside 40 overs, despite a flurry of wickets falling as the underdogs attempted to up the ante.

Rashid Khan showed his death-over prowess with a flurry of boundaries after Najibullah Zadran and Mohammad Nabi fell cheaply, but fell in the 49th over for Jasprit Bumrah’s fourth wicket.

Afghanistan’s scoring rate fell after the arrival of Indian spinners. Omarzai provided the boost in the 25th over when he hit two sixes against Kuldeep Yadav.

While Afghanistan used the same lineup that faced Bangladesh in Dharamsala, India substituted Shardul in place of Ravichandran Ashwin.

India is ranked fourth in the Cricket World Cup points table, while Afghanistan is ranked ninth.

Playing XIs:

India: Rohit Sharma (c), Ishan Kishan, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj

Afghanistan: Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Ibrahim Zadran, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi (c), Mohammad Nabi, Najibullah Zadran, Azmatullah Omarzai, Rashid Khan,  Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Naveen-ul-Haq, Fazalhaq Farooqi

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