Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Virat Kohli impressed on either side of the ball as India ended their poor Asia Cup campaign with a resounding 101-run win over Afghanistan on Thursday.
India's thrilling six-wicket loss to Sri Lanka on Tuesday left their Super Four qualification hopes in ruins, but they took out any frustrations on their hapless opponents to end a dire title defence on a positive note in Dubai.
Skipper KL Rahul (62) and the outstanding Kohli, who required just 61 balls to bring up his mammoth haul of 122, led India to a scintillating start after they were put in to bat.
Afghanistan claimed the wickets of Rahul and Suryakumar Yadav (six) in quick succession in the 12th over, but were unable to build on those dismissals as India raced to a strong target of 212.
But Afghanistan's struggles with the ball were nothing compared to what was to follow with the bat; Kumar removed opening duo Hazratullah Zazai and Rahmanullah Gurbaz for ducks within the first over, and added three more wickets before the end of the sixth.
Deepak Hooda, Arshdeep Singh and Ravichandran Ashwin then got in on the act with a wicket apiece as Afghanistan were limited to just 111 runs at the end of a chastening outing.
Kohli scales new heights
Kohli's unbeaten 122 is the highest score managed by an Indian player in men's T20 internationals, overtaking Rohit Sharma's 118 against Sri Lanka in December 2017.
While Kohli will be disappointed with India's failure to reach the Asia Cup final, he will no doubt be relieved at ending a long wait for a 71st century in international cricket; he last did so 1,020 days ago, against Bangladesh in November 2019.
Kumar on fire as Afghanistan collapse
India had a star at either end of the crease on Thursday, with Kumar bringing up a remarkable five-wicket haul to continue his excellent form.
Kumar has now taken 31 wickets in T20Is in 2022, surpassing India's previous record across a calendar year (Jasprit Bumrah's 28 in 2016).