Dube Joins Kohli, Yuvraj In Elite List With Match-Winning T20I Performance

Shivam Dube was the top performer for the Indian cricket team as the Rohit Sharma-led side defeated Afghanistan by six wickets in the first T20I encounter in Mohali on Thursday. Dube slammed an unbeaten 60 off just 40 balls and even took the important wicket of Ibrahim Zadran as he conceded just nine runs in his two overs while bowling. Thanks to his all-round show, Dube became the fourth Indian cricketer ever to score 50 or more runs and take a wicket in a T20I match. Yuvraj Singh has achieved the feat thrice, Virat Kohli twice while all-rounder Hardik Pandya was the last one to do it.

India’s fringe players, led by Shivam Dube, made the opportunity count to set up a six-wicket win over Afghanistan in the first T20 of the three-match series.

A lively 68-run partnership off 43 balls between the seasoned Mohammad Nabi (42 off 27) and youthful Azmatullah Omarzai (29 off 22) lifted Afghanistan to 158 for five after India dominated the powerplay.

The total posted was not enough in good batting conditions as India got home comfortably in 17.3 overs.

Dube, playing his first T20 since the Asian Games, and Tilak Varma (26 off 22) shared a 44-run stand off 29 balls to give Indian innings momentum after losing the openers inside four overs.

Rohit Sharma (0), returning to T20s after 14 months, and Shubman Gill (23) got involved in an avoidable mix-up that limited the Indian skipper’s stay to just two balls. The usually calm and cool Rohit did not hide his anger on this occasion as Gill did not pay heed to his call for a quick single.

Gill was not able to stay for long but Varma and Dube were able to take the innings forward and India did not look back from there on.

Dube, who is seen as a back up to injury prone Hardik Pandya, used his long levers efficiently and his disdainful drives on the off side stood out. He ended the game in style with a straight six and four in the fine leg region.

Jitesh Sharma (31 off 20) also gave a good account of himself before Rinku Singh (16 not out off 9) joined Dube in the middle and took the team home.

(With PTI inputs)

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