ICC Twenty20 World Cup | In Virat Kohli's last match as T20I captain, India beat Namibia by nine wickets

Captain Virat Kohli leads his team to the field after India's victory at the end of the ICC men’s Twenty20 World Cup cricket match between India and Namibia.   | Photo Credit: AFP

India gave head coach Ravi Shastri a parting gift with a convincing victory against qualifier Namibia and end its disappointing ICC T20 World Cup campaign on a winning note.

The nine-wicket triumph meant that Virat Kohli also ended his stint as the T20I captain with India finishing third in its six-team group.

The victory was again set up by spin twins Ravindra Jadeja (three for 16) and R. Ashwin (three for 20). The experienced duo’s spells meant Namibia, despite adding 37 in the last four overs, could only manage 132 for eight after being put in by Kohli.

Rohit to take over

Rohit Sharma (56, 37b,7x4, 2x6), who was informally unveiled as the next T20I captain by Kohli during the post-toss chat, then made a mockery of the African bowling attack. Rohit and K.L. Rahul’s (54, 36b, 4x4, 2x6) 86-run partnership off just 59 balls meant India completed a crushing victory with 28 balls to spare.

With Kohli sacrificing his No. 3 slot yet again, Suryakumar Yadav joined Rahul after Rohit’s attempted heave resulted in a top-edge to the wicketkeeper. Three balls after Rahul completed a classy half-century, the opener finished the game off with a four through mid-off off left-arm pacer Michael van Lingen.

Had Rohit not been dropped at short fine-leg before opening his account, the loyal supporters who turned up at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium in numbers may well have had a glimpse of Kohli, the batter.

The result of Monday night’s game had no bearing on the tournament since Pakistan and New Zealand had already qualified for the semifinals from India’s group.

Still, Ashwin and Jadeja showed their skills once again, despite Rahul Chahar, the leggie, going wicketless in his maiden appearance in the World Cup. Chahar replacing Varun Chakaravarthy was the only change in India’s line-up. Jasprit Bumrah was clinical as ever at the start and the death but Mohammed Shami faced a late charge from Jan Frylinck and Ruben Trumplemann at the end.

Despite Rohit and Rahul combining their wristwork with raw power in plenty, the short of the day came from Namibia opener Stephen Baard. The right-hander walked down the pitch in the third over and whipped Bumrah over wide long-on for a six, a shot he will cherish life long.

Once the spinners came on, Baard missed a sweep off Jadeja to be trapped lbw and Ashwin then broke the back of Namibia’s middle-order. Jadeja and Ashwin proved to be too good for the lesser experienced Namibians. to skittle it to 94 for seven.

The players wore black armbands in memory of noted cricket coach Tarak Sinha, who passed away on Saturday.

The early exit from the T20 World Cup means India will get a rare eight-day break ahead of its next assignment, the T20I series versus New Zealand that starts on November 17.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2022 2:47:51 AM |

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