Cricket World Cup: Rohit Sharma’s record-breaking 131 inspires India to victory over Afghanistan | Cricket News

Afghanistan’s skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi made 80 while India’s fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah picked up a four-for; India now face Pakistan on Saturday (9am on Sky Sports Cricket, first ball 9.30am)

By Um-E-Aymen Babar, Sports Journalist

Rohit Sharma’s magnificent 131 inspired India to an emphatic eight-wicket victory over Afghanistan at the packed Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi.

Sharma, who looked in imperious touch, struck a 30-ball half-century before motoring to his 100 from just 63 deliveries to bring up his seventh World Cup hundred from only 19 innings, moving him clear of Sachin Tendulkar’s record while also surpassing Chris Gayle’s record of hitting the most sixes in international cricket across all formats.

Afghanistan posted a solid 272-8 with their skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi (80) smashing a promising knock and Azmatullah Omarzai (62) following suit, but fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah (4-39) and birthday boy Hardik Pandya (2-43) restricted them below 300, allowing for a comfortable chase.

In reply, Afghanistan struggled to take wickets, the first breakthrough coming only in the 19th over with Ishan Kishan (48) getting a leading edge off Rashid Khan (2-57), with Ibrahim Zadran taking a simple catch and the Indian opener departing three runs short of a half-century.

The leg-spinner also bowled Sharma (131) – the only other wicket to fall in India’s innings – after inviting him into a false shot and clattering the middle stump after he struck 16 fours and five sixes to reach India’s fastest World Cup century, beating a 72-ball effort by Kapil Dev in 1983.

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The impressive win saw India move up to second on the table, behind New Zealand on net run-rate, while Afghanistan dropped to 10th place.

Sharma’s batting lights up Delhi

Sharma and Kishan shared an opening partnership worth 156 but they set the tone of the match within the powerplay as they galloped to 94-0 within 10 overs.

Afghanistan’s bowlers looked frustrated and turned to their trusted wicket-taker Rashid who removed Kishan to quieten the India fans.

India’s captain Rohit Sharma celebrates his century with teammate Ishan Kishan

Rashid removed Sharma to leave the hosts 205-2, but with only 68 more runs

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