Following his side’s six-wicket loss to India in the first T20I, Afghanistan skipper Ibrahim Zadran said that his side was at least 15 runs short and that the side has to improve its fielding too. A half-century by Shivam Dube and a cameo by Jitesh Sharma helped India secure a six-wicket win over Afghanistan in the first T20I of the three-match series at Mohali on Thursday.

“We were short 13-15 runs. We lost the toss too. But the boys fought well. We were trying to have a good powerplay start but we lost wickets then. One of us should’ve gone for 14-15 overs but we lost back-to-back wickets. When new batters came, we came under pressure. (Fielding effort) In the second inning, there was dew and gripping the ball was difficult. I can say that the boys tried really well. (Other areas of improvement) We will try to improve our fielding. We were quite lazy with the fielding today. We will try to improve batting as well. Bowling, we have no issue. We will focus on what we did wrong today,” said Zadran in post-match presentation.

Coming to the match, put to bat first by India, Afghanistan had a good start, with skipper Ibrahim Zadran (25 in 22 balls, with two fours and a six) and Rahmanullah Gurbaz (23 in 28 balls, with two fours and a six) adding 50 runs for the first wicket.

After Indian bowlers reduced Afghanistan to 57/3, A 68-run partnership between Azmatullah Omarzai (29 in 22 balls, with two fours and a six) and Mohammed Nabi (42 in 27 balls, with two fours and three sixes) bringing them back into the match. A solid partnership between Najibullah Zadran (19*) and Karim Janat (9*) at the back end of the innings took them to 158/5 in 20 overs.

Axar Patel (2/23) and Mukesh Kumar (2/33) were the pick of the bowlers for India. Shivam Dube got one wicket.

In the chase of 159, India lost skipper Rohit Sharma for a duck on his return to T20Is. Shubman Gill (23 in 12 balls, five fours) showed intent but could not convert his start into big score. A 44-run stand between Shivam Dube and Tilak Varma (26 in 22 balls, with two fours and a six) brought India back into the match. Later, a 45-run stand between Shivam and Jitesh Sharma (31 in 20 balls, with five fours) took India close to a win. Dube scored his second T20I half-century, getting 60 in 40 balls with five fours and two sixes and joined forces with Rinku Singh (16*) to win the game for India.

Mujeeb ur Rahman took two wickets for Afghanistan, while Omarzai got a wicket.

India is 1-0 up in the series, with two games to go. Dube was given the ‘Player of the Series’ award.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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