Dubai, UAE – India hammered Namibia by nine wickets to give Virat Kohli a winning farewell in his last match as Twenty20 captain and finish their disappointing World Cup campaign on a high on Monday.
India, who bowed out of the tournament on Sunday, rode on a 86-run opening stand between Rohit Sharma, who hit 56, and KL Rahul, who made an unbeaten 54, to reach their target of 133 in 15.2 overs in Dubai.
India, the 2007 champions, finished the tournament with three wins from five Super 12 matches but missed out on the semi-finals.
“I know we have not gone far in this World Cup, but we have had some good results in T20 and enjoyed playing together,” said Kohli, who lost the toss in both of India’s defeats by Pakistan and New Zealand.
“It’s a game of margins, T20 cricket. You talk about two overs of cricket with intent in the first two games and things could have been different.
“We were not brave enough, as I said. We are not a team that will give (the) excuse of tosses.”
Namibia signed off with a single win in their first appearance in the Super 12 stage of the T20 World Cup.
Indian spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin took three wickets each to set up the victory after they kept Namibia to 132 for eight.
David Wiese scored 26 off 25 balls and lifted Namibia from a precarious 94-7 to a respectable total, but it was not enough to challenge a powerful Indian batting line-up which came good towards the business end of the tournament.
Rohit, who remains the frontrunner to take over the T20 duties from Kohli, hit his second half-century of the competition.
Rohit finally fell to Jan Frylinck’s left-arm medium pace but only after he smashed seven fours and two sixes in his 37-ball knock.
Rahul kept up the pace to make his third consecutive fifty and struck the winning boundary.
Suryakumar Yadav hit an unbeaten 25 off 19 balls.
India had only managed to post 151 and 110 in their opening two losses against Pakistan and New Zealand that dented their chances of making the semi-finals.
New Zealand beat Afghanistan on Sunday to eliminate India from the competition and join Pakistan as the teams into the final four from Group 2.
In the final Super 12 match, the Indian bowlers took control after pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah sent back Michael van Lingen for 14 to end a 33-run opening stand.
Jadeja struck three times with his left-arm spin and off-spinner Ashwin also rattled the Namibian middle and lower order with figures of 3-20.
Wiese put on 23 for the eighth wicket with Frylinck, who made an unbeaten 15, to add useful runs in the final few overs.
“Only once we go back we’ll be able to realise we played an awesome level of cricket,” said Namibia captain Gerhard Erasmus.
“We can take a lot of positives individually and as a team we’ll take this experience as a whole. Good foundation for us if we want to make the next step.”