Shami's hat-trick helps India prevail in last over thriller against Afghanistan
India were done for all money after being restricted to a meager 224 but it was their winning instinct, helped by disciplined bowling, that led them to stifle Afghanistan and not allow them to get away too far from their grasp at any point during the match.
India 224-8 (50 Overs) [Kohli(c) 67(63), Kedar Jadhav 52(68); Nabi 2/33, Naib 2/51]
Afghanistan 213/10 (49.5 Overs) [Nabi 52(55), Rahmat 36(63); Shami 4/40, Chahal 2/36]
Result- India won by 11 runs
So close, yet so far!— Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) June 22, 2019
Afghanistan come painfully close to their first #CWC19 win but fall short by 11 runs. A professional bowling display seals the deal for India! #INDvAFG | #TeamIndia | #AfghanAtalan pic.twitter.com/Pw58ZCDrMa
India won the toss and decided to bat first, as any team would have, given the batting beauty at Hampshire Bowl. But the pitch flattered to deceive as it looked very dry and innocuous on the surface, but offered spongy bounce, along with its sluggish nature, as it became very difficult for the batsmen to score quickly.
However, Indian batsmen would concede that most of them looked quite comfortable at the crease but gave away their wickets after playing loose shots. Virat Kohli, Vijay Shankar, MS Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav all kept rebuilding for a large phase and when the time to up the ante arrived, India lost wickets at regular intervals and hence could only manage 224.
Credit must be given to some great bowling from Afghanistan, especially by their spinners, who were extremely economical.
Each of Gulbadin Naib, Rahmat Shah and Hashmatullah Shahidi got starts and ensured that Afghanistan were ahead in the game, but with a couple of quick wickets in his second spell, Jasprit Bumrah brought India back into the match.
With 16 required off the last over and Mohammad Nabi at the crease, India entrusted Mohammad Shami, who was playing his first match of the World Cup, to bowl the last over. Backing up his one wicket in the first spell, Shami kept his cool and delivered three back to back deliveries close enough to the yorker length to dismiss the batsmen.
Shami registered a hat-trick as India took a sigh of relief, winning the match by 11 runs in what was their 50th win in World Cup history. Both teams retain their place in the points table.
This match has come as a jolt for India and will only help them be on their toes in the coming matches.
India- Lokesh Rahul, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Vijay Shankar, MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Kedar Jadhav, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah
Afghanistan- Hazratullah Zazai, Gulbadin Naib, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Asghar Afghan, Mohammad Nabi, Ikram Ali Khil, Najibullah Zadran, Rashid Khan, Aftab Alam, Mujeeb Ur Rahman
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