India Afghanistan Bengaluru 2018
Ishant Sharma bowls Rahmat Shah in the second innings © AFP

It took India 66.1 overs to dispose off Afghanistan at M Chinnaswamy Stadium — twice. India were bowled out for 474 at the stroke of lunch. They needed a mere 27.5 overs to bowl out Afghanistan, for 109, by tea. And less than 10 minutes before the stipulated time for stumps, they bowled out Afghanistan again, this time for 103. They required 38.4 overs this time. In other words, Afghanistan scored 212 in their two innings, the same as the two Indian openers, Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan. In other words, Afghanistan’s Test debut did not go quite as planned.

All four frontline Indian bowlers — Umesh Yadav (4 for 44 in the Test), Ishant Sharma (4 for 45), Ravichandran Ashwin (5 for 59), and Ravindra Jadeja (6 for 35) came good, while Hardik Pandya pulled off a spectacular run out.

Afghanistan started well, with Mohammad Shahzad smashing Umesh for two fours in the first over, their first runs in Test cricket. Then he pushed one towards cover-point and set off, only to fall short as Hardik hit the stumps directly at the non-striker’s end. Ishant produced two peaches, running through the defences of Javed Ahmadi and Afsar Zazai, while Rahmat Shah, trapped in front, became Umesh’s 100th Test wicket.

Ashwin bowled Asghar Stanikzai through the gate to go past Zaheer Khan’s tally of 311 wickets. Ashwin is now placed fourth among Indians. Mohammad Nabi top-scored with 24 and Mujeeb Ur Rahman hit a few lusty blows, but the lower order was no match for the Indian spinners.

Ajinkya Rahane enforced the follow-on, and Umesh swept away Shahzad, Ahmadi, and Nabi in a blistering first spell. Rahmat lobbed Ishant to mid-wicket, and at 24 for 4 it seemed Afghanistan wouldn’t outdo their first-innings effort of 27.5 overs.

Rahane probably delayed the advent of Jadeja, allowing Hashmatullah Shahidi and Stanikzai add 37. Once Jadeja came on he sensed Stanikzai would go after him; he held one back, and Stanikzai (25) merely holed one out. Then Jadeja cleaned up Afsar Zazai, and Rashid Khan chopped one on.

Ishant returned to clean bowl Yamin Ahmadzai, while Umesh took an excellent catch at mid-on to get Mujeeb, to give Jadeja his fourth wicket. In between all this, Hardik caused some diversion by breaking a stump into two with a throw.

Shahid, who top-scored with 36 not out, inexplicably exposed No. 11 Wafadar Momand for 3 balls of an Ashwin over. The first of these pitched wide, and Wafadar left it and was bowled.

Brief scores:

India 474 (Murali Vijay 105, Shikhar Dhawan 107, KL Rahul 54, Hardik Pandya 71; Yamin Ahmadzai 3 for 51) beat Afghanistan 109 (Mohammad Nabi 24; Ravichandran Ashwin 4 for 27) and 103 (Hashmatullah Shahidi 36*, Asghar Stanikzai 25; Umesh Yadav 3 for 26, Ravindra Jadeja 4 for 17) by an innings and 262 runs.

Player of the Match: Shikhar Dhawan.