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PICS: India sign off on a high with Namibia thrashing

Last updated on: November 08, 2021 23:20 IST
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Images from the T20 World Cup Super 12s match between Namibia and India, Dubai, on Monday.

K L Rahul

IMAGE: Opener K L Rahul scored an unbeaten 54 off 36 balls, his third half-century of the T20 World Cup, as India easily defeated Namibia in the concluding Super 12s match, in Dubai, on Monday. Photograph: Alex Davidson/Getty Images

India ended their T20 World Cup campaign with a thumping nine-wicket victory over Namibia in the concluding Super 12s match of the tournament, in Dubai, on Monday.

Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin did much of the damage with the ball after Virat Kohli won the toss in his final match as T20I captain, the pair taking three wickets each to restrict Namibia to 132 for 8.

 

In reply, half-centuries from Rohit Sharma and K L Rahul saw India attain the target with 28 balls to spare, giving departing head coach Ravi Shastri and Kohli, who had stepped down as T20 International captain earlier, a winning send-off.

Both teams were out of the reckoning for semi-final berths, with Pakistan, England, New Zealand and Australia already confirmed as the tournament’s final four.

But that did not prevent a high-quality game, as India displayed the quality that made them favourites going into the tournament.

Rohit Sharma

IMAGE: Rohit Sharma hit 7 fours and 2 sixes before being dismissed for 56 off 37 balls. Photograph: Alex Davidson/Getty Images

The Rahul and Rohit opening partnership crunched into Namibia's attack through the Powerplay, Sharma dominating the strike and the scoring, racing to his half-century in just 31 balls.

But Sharma's stunning knock ended with the penultimate delivery of the tenth over when he top-edged a catch off Jan Frylinck that was taken by the keeper.

Suryakumar Yadav, promoted to number three, simply kept the scoreboard ticking with a classy, unbeaten 25 off 19 balls.

Rahul followed in his opening partner’s footsteps by bringing up a 50 of his own, his third of the tournament, reaching the landmark off just 35 balls before hitting the winning runs to finish unbeaten on 54.

India spinner Ravindra Jadeja celebrates with Rohit Sharma after dismissing Namibia's Craig Williams during the T20 World Cup Super 12s match, in Dubai, on Monday.

IMAGE: India spinner Ravindra Jadeja celebrates with Rohit Sharma after dismissing Namibia's Craig Williams during the T20 World Cup Super 12s match, in Dubai, on Monday. Photograph: Alex Davidson/Getty Images

Earlier, senior spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin were just too good for Namibia's unheralded batters, as India restricted the minnows to a modest 132 for 8.

Already ousted from the tournament after losing to Pakistan and New Zealand in their first two games, India looked relaxed and the Namibians were all at sea, not accustomed to playing world-class slow bowling operators of this calibre.

India pacer Jasprit Bumrah celebrates with teammates after dismissing Namibia opener Michael van Lingen

IMAGE: India pacer Jasprit Bumrah celebrates with Mohammed Shami after dismissing Namibia opener Michael van Lingen. Photograph: Alex Davidson/Getty Images

Jadeja (4-0-16-3) and Ashwin (4-0-20-3) took six wickets between them for 36 runs to make it a lop-sided contest after Namibia openers Stephan Baard (21) and Michael van Lingen (14) added 30-plus runs in the first four overs.

Once Van Lingen was dismissed by a short ball which had extra pace from Jasprit Bumrah (4-0-19-2), the will to fight was not evident on the African nation's batters when Jadeja and Ashwin jointly operated.

Mohammed Shami (0-39 in four overs) was the only bowler who had an off-day.

Ravichandran Ashwin reacts after taking the wicket of Zane Green.

IMAGE: Ravichandran Ashwin reacts after taking the wicket of Zane Green. Photograph: Alex Davidson/Getty Images

Jadeja saw Craig Williams jump down the track and stopped in his tracks and pitched on length to get enough away turn. Williams missed it and stood mid-pitch looking completely bamboozled.

Baard was out to a typical Jadeja arm ball, which he tried to sweep and was caught plumb in-front.

Once Jadeja got a couple of wickets, it was Ashwin's turn to get into action as he removed Jan Nicol Loftie-Eaton (5), inducing a cut, the shot landing into slip fielder Rohit Sharma's palms, and then bowled one with the angle that cleaned up Zane Green (0).

India's players celebrate after Ravichandran Ashwin dismisses Jan Nicol Lofie-Eaton

IMAGE: India's players celebrate after Ravichandran Ashwin dismisses Jan Nicol Lofie-Eaton. Photograph: Alex Davidson/Getty Images

In between, he also dismissed rival skipper Gerhard Erasmus (12).

But the highlight of India's fielding was a superb diving catch by Rohit Sharma at short cover, when he had roughly 0.16 seconds reaction time to pluck the ball inches above the ground and dismiss JJ Smit (9).

Namibia's plight was understandable as they hit only eight fours and two sixes in the entire innings while consuming 58 dot balls.

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