Riding on a flurry of mighty maximums, Shivam Dube and Yashasvi Jaiswal smashed Afghanistan's bowlers to smithereens with swashbuckling half-centuries as India made short work of a 173-run target to win the second T20I by six wickets here on Sunday.
While Yashasvi got out after hammering 68 off 34 balls, including six sixes, Dube ended unbeaten on a 32-ball 63, hitting four maximums in the process.
India completed the chase with 26 balls to spare, taking an unassailable lead in the three-match series.
Gulbadin Naib top-scored with a breezy 35-ball 57 before the lower-order batters Mujeeb Ur Rahman (21 off 9 balls) and Karim Janat (20 off 10) chipped in with useful contributions to lift Afghanistan to 172 all out.
India's chase began on a eventful note that saw a first-ball boundary by Yashasvi Jaiswal, a loud shout for an lbw and an unsuccessful Afghanistan review, and a first-ball duck for Rohit Sharma.
In his first T20I since November 2022, Virat Kohli began with a lovely boundary before Jaiswal smashed Fazalhaq Farooqi for two sixes.
Recreating the famous shot he played against Haris Rauf in the last T20 World Cup at MCG, Kohli hit a short-of-a-length Naveen-ul-Haq delivery back over the bowler's head for a four. On that night in Australia though, it was a six.
Having switched ends, Mujeeb leaked 19 runs with Jaiswal collecting three fours and Kohli one.
However, Naveen-ul-Haq cut short Kohli highly promising stay at the crease by having the maestro caught at mid-off for a 16-ball 29.
Unperturbed by the Kohli's dismissal, the duo of Jaiswal and Dube went about their task in a brutal manner, leaving the Afghan bowlers bruised and battered.
Asked to bat first, Afghanistan opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz signalled his intent straightaway and flicked Arshdeep Singh (3/32 in 4 overs) for a four through square leg and then tried to hit one straight down the ground, which however did not result in a boundary.
While Arshdeep started the proceedings with two wides on either side of the wicket, Mukesh Kumar was welcomed with a six over the bowler's head by Gurbaz, before his opening partner Ibrahim Zadran, having got a review for lbw in his favour, got into the act by lofting one over cover for a boundary.
Trailing 0-1 in the three-match series, Afghanistan raced to 20 for no loss in no time, forcing Rohit Sharma to introduce spin in the form of Ravi Bishnoi (2/39 in 4 overs).
Leg-spinner Bishnoi, who has a penchant for picking a wicket in his first over, did an encore as he lured Gurbaz to offer a catch to Shivam Dube at mid-on, having failed to get elevation.
Taking a cue from Gurbaz's approach, one-down batter Gulbadin Naib started to play his shots from the get-go, pulling Mukesh through mid-wicket and then driving him through for successive fours.
Fresh from a wicket in his very first over, Bishnoi found himself at the receiving end of Gulbadin's onslaught as the batter pulled a short ball over deep mid-wicket for a maximum before hitting back-to-back fours in an 18-run over at the Holkar Stadium.
There was another bowling change and it paid dividends as left-arm spinner Axar Patel bowled visiting captain Ibrahim Zadran with a beautiful flighted delivery that turned just enough to beat the batter and hit the stumps.
Azmatullah Omarzai did not last long as Dube hit the stumps after the batter went for a cross-batted pull shot and missed.
Axar bowled an economical eighth over before Gulbadin carted a Dube slower ball into the stands over deep mid-wicket and followed that by launching a half tracker towards the long-on region for another maximum.
Promoted to number three, Gulbadin brought up his fifty in 28 balls. There was no respite for Washington Sundar either, as Gulbadin swept the off-spinner for a big six over deep mid-wicket.
India's best bowler on the day by some distance, Axar (2/17 in 4 overs) provided the crucial breakthrough when he had Gulbadin caught at mid-wicket by Rohit, having bowled one slightly slower than his usual deliveries.
Afghanistan's innings lost momentum after Gulbadin's departure even as Bishnoi dismissed Mohammad Nabi.
(Except for the headline, this story, from a syndicated feed, has not been edited by Odishatv.in staff)