Rahul fireworks light up Dubai stadium as India celebrate Diwali in style - GulfToday

Rahul fireworks light up Dubai stadium as India celebrate Diwali in style


Calum MacLeod plays a shot (L), Ravindra Jadeja bowls (C) and Mohammed Shami celebrates after taking the wicket of Alasdair Evans (unseen) during the match in Dubai on Friday. AFP

Mohammad Abdullah, Senior Sports Reporter

Mohammad Shami and Ravindra Jadeja bowled scintillating spells to help India set up a facile win against Scotland in their T20 World Cup match in Dubai on Friday.

They were well assisted by Jasprit Bumrah, who returned with a figure of 2-10. Indian bowlers bowled tight to pull Scotland down to set them a paltry target of 86.

After restricting Scotland to an under-par total, India chased down the target for the loss of two wickets with 81 balls to spare.

With the victory, India boosted their hopes of advancing to semi-finals. They have moved to the third spot and taken over Afghanistan in run rate.

KL Rahul struck a blitzkrieg fifty and shared a 70-run stand with Rohit Sharma for the first wicket to give India a blistering start and set the tone for an easy chase.

Rahu lit up the Dubai Stadium with some fireworks to mark the occasion of Diwali – an Indian festival of light as his 19-ball 50 was studded with three sixes and six boundaries. Rohit also scored patient 30 off 16 deliveries.

Earlier, Bumrah triggered the collapse by getting rid of Kyle Coetzer to give India a start they wanted. India needed to bowl out Scotland for the lowest possible total and win the game in the minimum overs to bolster their run rate.

Pace spearhead Shami sent back George Munseys. He had the Scotland opener caught by Pandya to pick his first wicket of the day. Jadeja too sprung into action and dismissed Matthews Cross and Richie Barrington in quick succession to make it 29-4.

The wily spinner trapped Cross in front of stumps and rattled the wickets of Berrington to push Scots on the back foot. Calum MacLeod and Michael Leask shared a 29-run partnership in a bid to revive the innings before Jadeja struck again to break the dangerous-looking partnership.

The off-spinner caught Leask, who scored a quick-fire 20-ball 40 against New Zealand in their last match, plumb before Ravichandran Ashwin picked up his only wicket of the match by getting Chris Greaves caught by Pandya.

Shami dismantled the stumps of MacLeod and Alasdair Evans to complete his second three-wicket haul in the tournament and emerged as the highest wicket-taker for India. He was trolled by radical hindu groups after India lost to Pakistan in the opener.

Scotland batters showed an abject surrender and failed to show any resistance. Every time they tried to stitch their faltering innings, Indian bowlers pegged them back with a wicket or two to keep the game under cruise control.

Mark Watt became the second victim of Bumrah, who clean bowled him to wipe out the tail before Safyaan Sharif fell short of ground as Scotland could muster 85.

India got their campaign off to a stuttering start, with two consecutive losses, which pushed them on the back foot right from the beginning.

They have been fighting hard to keep their hopes alive. With Pakistan already having booked their ticket in the semis, India and New Zealand are fighting for the one remaining berth, Afghanistan also have an outside chance of making it to the last four.

After two defeats, India have bounced back to notch up two comprehensive straight wins which has put their campaign back on track. But, despite the wins, India needed other results to go in their favour.

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