India started their t20 World Cup campaign with a comfortable 23 run victory against Afghanistan as the pre-tournament favourites negotiated a potential upset at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.
Virat Kohli led the way with a vital half century to help India set Afghanistan a run chase of 160 which prove too much after the Afghans were restricted to a total of 136.
Karim Sadiq (26) and Nawroz Mangal (22) looked the most dangerous batsman in the Afghans line up but once Yuvraj Singh (3-24) struck twice in the 12th over the Indians took control of the match.
Mohammad Nabi offered some hope with a quick fire cameo of 31 but once his innings was brought to an end by Ravichandran Ashwin (2-20) the Afghans slowly slide towards defeat.
Kohli scored four boundaries and two sixes to rescue India after they got off to a poor start; having been put into bat, India lost Gautam Gambhir (10) and Virender Sehwag (8) early on after Shapoor Zadran (2-33) struck twice inside the opening 5th overs to leave India 22-2.
Yuvraj Singh (18) quickly followed as the Afghan’s looked to put pressure on the Indian’s but a number of dropped catches allowed Kohli and Suresh Raina to build a 4th wicket partnership of 46.
Despite the loss of Kohli, Raina and MS Dhoni (18) helped push India’s total past 150 to leave Afghanistan with a lot of work to do with the bat against India’s pace attack.