Mirpur, Mar 5: Knocked out of contention for the final, five-time champions India ended their Asia Cup campaign with a consolation win over debutantes Afghanistan, beating them by eight wickets in a lop-sided encounter here today.
After skipper Virat Kohli opted to bowl on winning the toss, Indian spinners Ravindra Jadeja, R Aswhin and Amit Mishra shared seven wickets between them to skittle out Afghanistan for 159 in 45.2 overs.
The Indians chased down the target in 32.2 overs to clinch the bonus point but it was a case of too little too late after defeats against Sri Lanka and Pakistan poured cold water on their final hopes.
Ajinkya Rahane (56), after being promoted to open, and Shikhar Dhawan (60) set up the chase for India with a 121-run opening wicket partnership.
India sent Rahane in the opening slot, a move that clicked as he and Dhawan put on a century partnership.
The duo played mostly in ground strokes and Rahane impressed up the order with his composed batting. The youngster, who usually bats at number four, settled in quickly and rotated the strike to take pressure off Dhawan, a tentative-starter who got a reprieve on 28.
Afghanistan 159 all out
Spin duo of Jadeja and Aswhin shared seven wickets between them to help India skittle out minnows Afghanistan for 159.
Sent into bat, only three Afghan batsmen managed double digit scores as India, who surprisingly fielded an unchanged squad for dead rubber, rode on the exploits of Jadeja (4/30) and Ashwin (3/31) to bowl out their less-formidable opponents in 45.2 overs at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium.
After pacer Mohammed Shami gave India the first breakthrough in the form of Nawroj Mangal, it was a one-way traffic as Jadeja ripped apart the inexperienced Afghan batting line-up with his left-arm spinners in offie Ashwin's company.
Afghanistan's innings was centred around No 8 batsman Samiullah Shenwari, who scored a sensible 50 off 73 balls with the help of six boundaries and one six.
Shenwari's rearguard knock helped Afghanistan cross the 150-run mark, especially they were reduced to 95 for seven at one stage.
Shenwari shared 26 runs with No 10 batsman Shapoor Zadran and 22 for the last wicket with Dawlat Zadran to bring up his fifth ODI half-century and second in the tournament.
Apart from Shenwari only two others - Noor Ali Zadran (31) and Mohammad Shahzad (22) - could reach double figures in front of India's hostile spin attack.
Despite this being an inconsequentional match in Asia Cup, Team India remained unchanged. Captain Virat Kohli won the toss and opted to field against Afghanistan.
Both India and Afghanistan are out of the reckoning for a final berth. Afghanistan made one change, bringing in legspinner Rahmat Shah for left-arm spinner Hamza Hotak.
Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar blasted the Indian team management for not making any changes for this dead rubbber.
India lost to Sri Lanka and Pakistan. Their only victory so far was against Bangladesh. Afghanistan too have one win, against the hosts.
On March 8, Saturday, Pakistan will face Sri Lanka in the final.
India: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Dinesh Karthik (wicketkeeper), Ambati Rayudu, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Amit Mishra, Mohammed Shami.
Afghanistan: Mohammad Nabi (captain), Mohammad Shahzad (wicketkeeper), Noor Ali Zadran, Asghar Stanikzai, Nawroz Mangal, Najibullah Zadran, Samiullah Shenwari, Mirwais Ashraf, Rahmat Shah, Dawlat Zadran, Shapoor Zadran.