Chasing 211, Afghanistan openers, Mohammad Shahzad and Hazratullah Zazai, couldn’t get going against Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah and both of them were dismissed by the seam-bowling pair.
Rahmanullah Gurbaz, though, hit Shami for 6,6,4; Gulbadin Naib took a couple of boundaries off Hardik Pandya to get the chasing going as Afghanistan ended the powerplay at 47/2.
Gurbaz, however, was caught in deep of Ravindra Jadeja’s bowling. R Ashwin, returning to India’s T20I eleven, struck with the wicket of Naib. In the hint to find a boundary, Najibullah Zadran attempted a reverse sweep but missed a straight one from Ashwin.
The required rate had soared over 16 and the result was a foregone conclusion by then. Mohammad Nabi and Karim Janat hit a few late blows, but only managed to take their side to 144.
Earlier, Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul, reunited at the top, gave India a quick start. Sharma lofted Nabi for a boundary in the first over before both of them took 16 runs off the second over, bowled by Sharafuddin Ashraf.
The fifth over, bowled by Naveen-ul-Haq, yielded 17 runs for India as Sharma hammered the pacer for two fours and a six. India finished the powerplay at 53/0. Afghanistan tried to pull things back, but Rashid Khan, their main man, leaked 11 runs in his second over.
Having set themselves in, both then just toyed with the Afghanistan bowlers. Naveen was taken for 16 runs; Naib for 12; Rohit send Rashid Khan twice over the ropes to demoralise Afghanistan further.
Karim Janat ended the 140-run opening stand with the wicket of Sharma, who departed after scoring 74 runs off 47 balls. Naib castled Rahul for 69 off 48.
Rishabh Pant then whacked two straight sixes to Naib before Hardik Pandya smashed three fours to Hamid. Pant and Pandya plundered the bowlers to every part of the ground in their remarkable partnership of 63 runs from just 21 balls, giving India a big finish.
Earlier in the day, New Zealand defeated Scotland by 16 runs on the back of Martin Guptill’s thunderous 93.