India's captain Rohit Sharma (L) and his teammate Shubman Gill (C) run between the wickets during the first Twenty20 international cricket match between India and Afghanistan at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in Mohali on January 11, 2024 Image Credit: AFP

Dube's half-century and Axar Patel's economical bowling spell were the key highlights as India beat Afghanistan in the first T20I by six wickets to go one-up in the three-match series.

Mohali: Following India's six-wicket win over Afghanistan in the first T20I, India skipper Rohit Sharma praised his team's all-round performance and said there are a lot of positives.

"A lot of positives, especially with the ball. It was not the easiest of conditions but our spinners bowled particularly well," said Rohit after the match.

On his mixup with Shubman Gill that led to the run-out, Rohit said, "Honestly, these things happen. When it happens, you feel frustrated because you want to be out there and score runs for your team. I wanted Shubman Gill to carry on. He played a good inning but got out."

Elaborating further on his team's performance, he said that batters Jitesh Sharma, Shivam Dube and Rinku Singh are in good form and he aims to try different things in the coming games.

"There are a lot of positives: Shivam Dube, the way Jitesh batted, Tilak as well and obviously Rinku. (Next game?) I want to try a few things. I want to make the bowlers do a few different things. Like how Washy (Washington Sundar) bowled the 19th today. Keeping those things in mind, we will try to do different things. But not at the cost of winning," he concluded.

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) brought 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.

Chasing 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.

India are 1-0 up in the series with two games to go. Dube was given the 'Player of the Series' award.