Colombo – India took advantage of a butter-fingered display by Afghanistan to recover from a bad start and post 159/5 in the World Twenty20 in Colombo on Wednesday.
Virat Kohli top scored with 50 off 38 balls, his third successive T20 half-century, and Suresh Raina made 38 after India were sent in to bat in the group A match.
Tall left-arm seamer Shapoor Zardan gave the Afghans a superb start when he removed openers Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag by the fifth over with only 22 runs on the board.
But Afghanistan, playing their second World Twenty20, were let down by a shoddy display in the field, dropping four catches, two of them return catches by Mohammad Nabi.
Yuvraj Singh, who opened his account with a six, put on 46 for the third wicket with Kohli before he was caught at third-man off spinner Karim Sadiq.
Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni hit a four and six off the final two deliveries to carry India past the 150-run mark.
Defending champions England are the third team in the group, from where the top two will advance to the Super Eights round.
India 159/5 in 20 overs (V. Kohli 50, S. Raina 38, Y. Singh 18; Shapoor Zadran 2-33) – Sapa-AFP