Kohli leads India recovery after shock Sharma dismissal

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Southampton (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Virat Kohli scored his third consecutive World Cup fifty as India recovered from the shock of losing Rohit Sharma early against Afghanistan on Saturday.

Indian skipper Kohli won the toss under sunny skies in Southampton and chose to bat but they were in early trouble when Sharma was bowled by Mujeeb Ur Rahman for just one, leaving India seven for one in the fifth over.

Sharma has been in superb form at the World Cup in England and Wales, scoring a century against Pakistan last week to add to his ton against South Africa.

Sharma’s dismissal brought Kohli to the wicket, but India struggled to break free of the Afghan shackles, reaching 41-1 at the end of the first 10-over powerplay.

Off-spinner Mujeeb was particularly impressive, conceding just 18 runs in his six-over spell.

India lost KL Rahul for 30 with the score on 64.

Rahul top-edged a reverse-sweep into the hands of Hazratullah Zazai at short third man off the bowling of Mohammad Nabi.

Kohli, who scored half-centuries against Australia and Pakistan, reached his fifty off 48 balls, with four fours.

India passed the 100-run mark in the 23rd over.

Vijay Shankar was next to go, lbw to leg-spinner Rahmat Shah for 29, leaving India 122-3 in the 27th over.

Unbeaten India made just one change to their line-up after their win against Pakistan, with seam bowler Mohammed Shami replacing the injured Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

Afghanistan, bottom of the 10-team World Cup table after losing all five of their games so far, made two changes, bringing in Zazai and Aftab Alam for Noor Ali Zadran and Dawlat Zadran.

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