THE GAME ended quickly, through Mohammed Shami's late burst followed by KL Rahul's 18-ball half-century blast. India chased down a victory target of 86 in 6.3 overs to go past New Zealand and Afghanistan in net run-rate. At +1.619, they now have the best net run-rate in Group 2. But it will come into play only if Afghanistan beat New Zealand on Sunday. If the Kiwis win, India's T20 World Cup is over.
For India, the Scotland game in Dubai on Friday was about upping their net run-rate. It was a contest between the millionaires and the paupers, with Scotland captain Kyle Coetzer telling this paper last week that despite being one of the 12 contracted cricketers in the country, he has to do two other jobs. In terms of cricket, there is an ocean in class.
Little wonder then that India won by eight wickets without virtually breaking any sweat. The small matter of doing the job was taken care of by the bowlers followed by Rahul's blitz.
Ravindra Jadeja was excellent for his 3/15 from four overs. Both Varun Chakravarthy and Ravichandran Ashwin complemented him well. Jasprit Bumrah was right on the money from the start. Shami cleaned up the tail to return with three wickets. Collectively, the Indian bowlers were precise in terms of line and length.
The optional training session on the match eve dropped a hint about an impending change in the playing eleven. Varun was the only player to turn up under the watchful eyes of four support staff. He duly came in for Shardul Thakur. For a change, Virat Kohli won the toss and bowled first.
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