Ravindra Jadeja

CHIEF DESTROYER: India all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, left, celebrates with skipper Virat Kohli after again excelling with the ball, taking three for 16.

India beat Namibia by nine wickets as they signed off with a victory yesterday at the T20 World Cup in the last game for Virat Kohli as T20 captain and Ravi Shastri as head coach.

After restricting Namibia to 132-8, spinners Ravindra Jadeja (3-16) and Ravichandran Ashwin (3-20) sharing six wickets between them, India raced to victory inside 16 overs at the Dubai Cricket International Stadium.

Rohit Sharma, who is widely expected to replace Kohli as skipper in the shortest format, led the way in the chase with 56 from 37 balls in an opening stand with KL Rahul, who took over after his partner’s dismissal and accelerated to finish unbeaten on 54 from 36 balls.

Failure to progress from the Super 12s was undoubtedly a disappointment for India, who came into the tournament as favourites, but after defeats to Pakistan and New Zealand, they finish with three straight wins to end what has been a largely successful era across all formats with Shastri at the helm -- albeit one that has seen them come up just short in ICC events.

After winning the toss, India chose to field first and after Stephen Baard and Michael van Lingen had got Namibia off to a good start, they hit back with two wickets before the end of the powerplay -- Jadeja having Craig Williams (0) stumped after Jasprit Bumrah had removed Van Lingen (14).

Jadeja struck again in the eighth over to dismiss Baard (21) lbw and matters got worse for Namibia when Ashwin had Jan Nicol Loftie-Eaton caught at slip at the start of the 10th over to make it 47-4. Captain Gerhard Erasmus and David Wiese battled to get Namibia out of trouble but up against the spin trio of Ashwin, Jadeja and Rahul Chahar scoring was tough.

Ashwin accounted for Erasmus (12) and bowled Zane Green first ball with Jadeja getting rid of JJ Smit (9) in between, and after Wiese (26) fell to Bumrah (2-19) it was left to Ruben Trumpelmann (13 not out) to give Namibia a boost by taking Mohammed Shami’s last over for 13.

India got off to a flyer in the chase, Rohit the chief aggressor as he and KL Rahul raced to a fifty partnership inside the powerplay. Rohit reached a half-century of his own, from just 31 balls, a couple of overs later.

Jan Frylinck (1-19) broke the stand in the 10th over as Rohit’s attempted drive over long off went straight up, but it was no more than a minor speed bump for India.

Rahul took over, brought up his fifty from 35 balls and with the help of Suryakumar Yadav (25 not out from 19) got India over the line with 28 balls remaining to bring the Kohli era, at least in T20 cricket, to an end.

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