Fri, Mar 07, 2014 - Page 20 News List

India bow out of Asia Cup with Afghanistan win


India’s Ravindra Jadeja bowls a delivery during the ninth match of the Asia Cup tournament between India and Afghanistan in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on Wednesday.

Photo: AFP

World Cup champions India 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 Stadium.

Openers Ajinkya Rahane and Shikhar Dhawan then put on a 121-run stand as India surpassed the modest target in the 33rd over of their innings.

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.

The 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 tomorrow’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 archrivals Pakistan.

Indian 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.

“This was a complete performance from the team,” he said. “It is hard to motivate yourselves when you are out of contention for the final. But 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.”

Afghanistan, preparing 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.

“I 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.”

Jadeja returned with four for 30, but Ashwin (3-31) and teammate Mohammed Shami (2-50) finished at the top of the tournament’s bowling list with nine wickets each.

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 was to take on Bangladesh in the last league match yesterday.

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