T20 World Cup: India vs Scotland, Highlights: Rahul, Jadeja, Shami hand India their biggest-ever T20I win

Chasing a paltry target of 86 runs, India reached home comfortably without breaking any sweat as they lost just two wickets in the process and had 81 runs to spare. This is the Men in Blues’ biggest-ever win in terms of balls to spare.

India reached home in just 6.3 overs and climbed above New Zealand and Afghanistan in terms of net run rate. They now remain in contention for the semi-final berth. It was a perfect birthday gift for captain Kohli as his team annihilated the opposition in all three departments.

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Rahul started the proceedings with the bat for India in the run chase on a dominant note as he attacked Scotland bowlers from the word go. He notched up his 14th T20I fifty off just 18 deliveries before getting dismissed while trying to finish the game quickly. He batted at an impressive strike rate of 263.16. His knock was laced with 6 boundaries and three maximums.

Rohit too looked in ominous touch as he scored 30 off 16 deliveries, including 5 boundaries and a maximum. He was dismissed leg before by Bradley Wheal and the Indians lost their first wicket for 70. Pacer Mark Watt got the wicket of Rahul.

Suryakumar Yadav and captain Virat Kohli had little to do as the openers had done their job decently. Suryakumar hit the winning six for his team off Chris Greaves and the Indians reached home in style.

Earlier in the day, India’s seasoned bowlers made short work of unheralded Scotland by bundling them out for just 85 in 17.4 overs. With one eye on the net run-rate, skipper Virat Kohli finally won a toss on his 33rd birthday and pacer Jasprit Bumrah (2/10), made the life of Scottish batters miserable during his first spell. Bumrah surpassed Yuzvendra Chahal (65 scalps) to now become India’s highest wicket-taker in the shortest version.

Plucky left-handed opener George Munsey (24 off 19 balls) clipped Bumrah over square leg for a six and reverse swept Varun Chakravarthy for a boundary to signal positive intent but the gulf in class was always obvious.

Skipper Kyle Coetzer (1) was pegged on the backfoot by a Bumrah yorker first up and then he bowled a slower one which beat the Scotsman all ends up. A lethal Mohammed Shami (3/15) then sent back the dangerous looking Munsey, who failed to clear mid-on.

That was the end of Scotland batting’s brief bright spot. The dsciplined Ravindra Jadeja (3/15), with his ‘darts-like’ accuracy, removed Matthew Cross (2), Richie Berrington (0) and Michael Leask (21 off 12 balls) in quick succession to blow away the middle-order. Jadeja varied the pace of his deliveries but occasionally bowled the ones that skid through the surface hurrying the batters.

Once Scotland were 44 for 4 after 10 overs, there was no looking back for the Indian bowlers. It was a game where even percentage bowling was enough to rattle the Scotland batters, who didn’t find too many options to keep the scoreboard ticking. Scotland’s previous poor show with willow against weaker teams like Namibia and Afghanistan was an indicator that they wouldn’t do any better against India.

Once half the side was out with less than 60 on the board, the lower order was caught between survival and attack. Calum MacLeod (16 off 28 balls) laboured along before being cleaned up by Shami as Indians hardly had to bowl too many effort balls to dismantle the opposition.

Save one where No. 10 Alasdair Evans was yorked by a 90 mph thunderbolt by Shami. It was one such happy evening in the office where skipper Kohli wasn’t bothered whether there was a sixth bowler available or not. Ravichandran Ashwin (1/29) and Varun Chakravarthy (0/15) were also accurate for the better part of their spells.

(With PTI inputs)

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