Dhaka - World Cup champions India have ended their disappointing campaign in the
Asia Cup with an eight-wicket romp over minnows Afghanistan in their
final league match in Dhaka on Wednesday.
Spinners Ravindra Jadeja
and Ravichandran Ashwin shared seven wickets as India skittled
Afghanistan for 159 after electing to field at the Sher-e-Bangla
Openers Ajinkya Rahane and Shikhar Dhawan then put on a
121-run stand as India surpassed the modest target in the 33rd over of
Rahane scored 56 and left-handed Dhawan made 60
before both batsmen fell in successive overs, but Rohit Sharma and
Dinesh Karthik saw their team through in the one-sided contest.
result of the first-ever one-dayer between the two teams had no bearing
on the tournament because Pakistan and Sri Lanka have already qualified
for Saturday's final.
India finished the five-nation tournament
with two wins against hosts Bangladesh and Afghanistan, but having lost
key matches against Sri Lanka and arch-rivals Pakistan.
captain Virat Kohli, standing in for the injured Mahendra Singh Dhoni,
said he was happy to sign off from the tournament with a good win.
was a complete performance from the team," he said. "It is hard to
motivate yourselves when you are out of contention for the final.
being relaxed worked for us. I think we were quite tense in the earlier
games. This is a young team and we have to be patient with them. The
results will follow.
"We committed crucial mistakes against
Pakistan and Sri Lanka and lost close games. But I am happy the way team
showed character and fought till the end."
for their maiden World Cup appearance next year, were beaten in three
of their four matches, their lone victory coming against the hosts.
Skipper Mohammad Nabi said the Asia Cup was a good experience for his team.
think this has been a great tournament for us and we have shown that we
belong in this group," he said. "The win over Bangladesh was a good
sign for us.
"But I hope we continue to get more matches against the Test nations so that our players can learn from them and improve."
Shenwari top-scored with 50 and Noor Ali Zadran made 31, but eight
Afghanistan batsmen failed to reach double figures in good batting
The batsmen appeared comfortable against the seamers,
racing to 54-1 by the 12th over, before wickets collapsed in a heap
against the turning ball.
Left-arm spinner Jadeja, brought on to
bowl the 12th over, struck with his first and third deliveries to reduce
the Afghans to 55-3.
With Jadeja and off-spinner Ashwin quickly
taking care of the next four batsmen, Afghanistan found themselves
struggling at 95-7 in the 26th over.
Shenwari boosted the total
with six boundaries and a six in his fifth one-day half-century as the
last three wickets added 64 valuable runs.
Jadeja returned with
four for 30, but Ashwin (3-31) and team-mate Mohammed Shami (2-50)
finished at the top of the tournament's bowling list with nine wickets
They were one ahead of Saeed Ajmal of Pakistan (eight
wickets) and two more than Ajantha Mendis of Sri Lanka (seven), both of
whom have games in hand.
Sri Lanka will take on Bangladesh in the last league match on Thursday.