The second T20I of the three-match series between India and Afghanistan at the Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore unfolded with remarkable performances from both the sides. Nevertheless, the true highlights of the first innings were the stellar bowling displays by Axar Patel and Shivam Dube, who astutely outfoxed two Afghan batters with deliveries that left the crowd in awe.
Afghanistan’s strong start and India’s fightback
Asked to bat first, Afghanistan started well but their innings soon derailed after series of setbacks. Gulbadin Naib was the top scorer with 57 runs off 35 balls, while Najibullah Zadran contributed 23 runs off 21 balls. Although the Afghan innings witnessed wickets falling at regular intervals, they still managed to reach a total of 172 runs in 20 overs.
The duo that played a major role in restricting the Afghan side was Axar and Dube, as they bagged wickets in consecutive overs with brilliant deliveries right at the start and shifted the momentum in India’s favour.
Axar Patel’s masterstroke
Patel’s magic unfolded in the sixth over when he sent Afghanistan’s skipper, Ibrahim Zadran, back to the pavilion with a delivery that could be described as nothing short of a masterpiece. Axar cleverly slowed down the ball, enticing Zadran forward. The ball, turning just enough, evaded Zadran’s bat and demolished the off-stump. It was a dream delivery that showcased Axar’s skill and precision, proving to be a challenge for even the most seasoned batters.
Commenting on the dismissal, the experts couldn’t help but marvel at Axar’s execution, acknowledging that such a delivery could have dismantled the defences of even the best of batters.
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Shivam Dube’s deception
Following Axar’s masterclass, it was Dube’s turn to weave his magic. Dube’s victim was Azmatullah Omarzai, who fell prey to the craftiness of Dube’s bowling in the seventh over. The dismissal showcased Dube’s ability to mix up deliveries and keep the batters guessing.
Dube, with his deceptive back-of-the-hand slower ball, managed to exploit the lack of bounce on the Holkar Cricket Stadium pitch. Omarzai, attempting to swat the ball across the line, found himself completely deceived by the lack of bounce. The ball sneaked under his swinging blade, leaving the stumps shattered in its wake. Dube’s variation and control over his deliveries were on full display, earning him a crucial wicket and further denting Afghanistan’s innings.
Here’s the video:
Two quick wickets here, courtesy Axar Patel and Shivam Dube, who strike in their first overs.
— BCCI (@BCCI) January 14, 2024
- 1 Afghanistan’s strong start and India’s fightback
- 2 Axar Patel’s masterstroke
- 3 Shivam Dube’s deception