India showcased a spectacular performance against Afghanistan at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Wednesday, securing a 3-0 lead in the 5-match T20I series in an extraordinary double super over showdown.
Opting to bat first after winning the toss, India found themselves in a precarious situation at 22/4 within the initial powerplay, courtesy of a relentless assault by Afghanistan's bowlers. However, a mesmerizing partnership between Rohit Sharma and Rinku Singh turned the tide. Rohit's brilliance unfolded with a sensational, unbeaten 121 off 69 balls, marking his fifth T20I century and elevating him to the top of the century charts in the format.
Rinku Singh complemented Rohit's masterclass with an unbeaten 69* off 39 balls, contributing to an unprecedented 190-run partnership. This stand not only became India's highest in T20Is but also set a new record for the most runs scored by any team in the last two overs of men's T20s.
The record-breaking spree continued as the 20th over, bowled by Karim Janat, witnessed Rohit and Rinku plundering 36 runs, equalling the record for the most runs conceded in an over in men's T20Is. India's remarkable surge saw them amassing 103 runs in the last five overs, a feat achieved only once before in men's T20Is.
Rohit Sharma's leadership prowess was evident, with three of his T20I centuries achieved while captaining India. This milestone placed him on par with Babar Azam for the most T20I tons as captain, highlighting his dual role as a formidable batsman and an astute captain.
The age-defying Rohit, at 36 years and 262 days, became the oldest player from a Test-playing nation to score a century in T20Is, surpassing the legendary Chris Gayle's record.
Afghanistan, however, responded with resilience, led by Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran's commendable half-centuries. Gulbadin Naib's heroic unbeaten 55* pushed the game into a Super Over, where India's Washington Sundar showcased his bowling prowess, claiming three crucial wickets. The first super over ended in a tie, leading to a historic second super over.
In the nerve-wracking climax, India successfully defended 11 runs, courtesy of Ravi Bishnoi's exceptional spell, where he took two wickets in three balls. Bishnoi's heroics sealed India's victory and clinched the series 3-0, breaking Afghanistan's resilient spirit. The enthralling encounter marked a historic chapter in T20I cricket, with memorable performances etched by Rohit Sharma, Rinku Singh, and the emerging sensation Ravi Bishnoi.
(With Agency Inputs)