Rahul, Shami boost India’s chances after thumping win over Scotland

The Punjab Kings captain scored a quickfire fifty while the seam bowling veteran picked up three crucial wickets in this must win game.

Team India made it two wins on the bounce on Friday as they brushed aside Scotland by eight wickets at the Dubai International Stadium in the T20 World Cup. Once again, familiar faces stepped up for Virat Kohli’s side as a combination of Mohammed Shami’s accurate bowling and KL Rahul’s ballistic batting gave India a formidable win over the Scots. 

Bowling first on the day, team India already had the opposition on the ropes as they picked up two wickets in the powerplay overs. Mohammed Shami contributed to one of those, dismissing opener George Munsey in his very first over. 

Post the powerplay, the spinners wrecked havoc as a combination of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja accounted for four wickets of the middle-order while keeping things tight. Shami returned for a spell at the death, and he once again brought breakthroughs with him as knocked over the well set Callum MacLeod with a perfect toe crusher. The Punjab Kings pacer also dismissed Alasdair Evans off the very first delivery to wrap up the Scotland innings for a paltry score of 85. 

In reply, India had to chase down the target within 7.2 overs to get their net run rate better than New Zealand and Afghanistan. Openers Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul followed the memo to great effect, as they went gung go from the very first over. 

Rahul targeted the bowling of Brad Wheal and Safiyaan Sharif, as he made the most of the field restrictions to score boundaries at will. The Punjab Kings captain scored six fours and three sixes in his brilliant counter-attacking knock, as he scored the fastest fifty of the 2021 T20 World Cup, getting to that mark off just 19 balls. 

Rahul couldn’t finish things off for his side as he was dismissed with the team just six runs shy of the target, nevertheless his brilliant fifty rekindled Indian hopes as they now boast a better run rate than their contemporaries.

India play their next game on Monday against Namibia. If they can win that game and if Afghanistan manage to beat New Zealand in their next game, India would leapfrog the Kiwis to get to the semi-finals.  

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