Afghans make Indians sweat for victory | 2019-06-23 | daily-sun.com

ICC Cricket World Cup

Afghans make Indians sweat for victory

23 June, 2019 12:00 AM printer

SOUTHAMPTON: Mohammed Shami took a dramatic hat-trick to finally clinch a thrilling 11-run win over Afghanistan after the minnows threatened one of the biggest shocks in World Cup history in Southampton on Saturday, reports AFP.

Afghanistan, appearing at only their second World Cup, lost the toss but restricted India to 224 for eight in their 50 overs, giving themselves a genuine chance for a huge upset.

They were well set at 106-2 in the 29th over, even though the run-rate was starting to edge up, but two wickets in one over from paceman Jasprit Bumrah removed Rahmat Shah and Hashmatullah Shahidi.

Mohammad Nabi and Najibullah Zadran batted sensibly to keep their side in the hunt, but when Zadran was caught by Yuzvendra Chahal off Hardik Pandya, Afghanistan were 166-6 in the 42nd over.

Nabi was still there in the final over, with 16 required and drilled Shami’s first ball down the ground for four.

With an incredible triumph within touching distance, Nabi was caught by Pandya at long on two balls later.

Shami then clean-bowled Aftab Alam and Mujeeb Ur Rahman to seal a nerve-jangling win with a hat-trick.

“We bowled really well. We did well in batting, but credit to Bumrah for how he bowled in the last two or three overs,” frustrated Afghanistan captain Gulbadin Naib said.

“The total was not that much but you need 80s or 100s — 30 or 25s are not enough.

“If you chase 250 then middle order batsmen should go longer and take responsibility.”

Earlier, an increasingly fraught India were furious when the umpire turned down a huge lbw shout at the start of the 29th over from Bumrah, who rapped Shah on the pads — Virat Kohli’s side had no reviews left.

Just three balls later Shah, on 36, top-edged a hook and Chahal took a fine low catch running in from fine leg, sending the massed ranks of flag-waving Indian supporters wild.

With his final ball of the over Bumrah turned the game sharply back in India’s direction when Shahidi could only offer up a simple caught-and-bowled chance and he departed for 21.

Bumrah — the world’s top-ranked one-day international bowler — finished with figures of 2 for 39 from his 10 overs, bowling superbly at the death. Shami finished with figures of 4-40.

“When the captain has so much trust in you, it gives you a lot of confidence to express yourself. That helps me keep a clear head,” said man-of-the-match Bumrah.

“There was reverse swing, so you had to rely on your yorkers.” Afghanistan have been the whipping boys of the tournament in England and Wales, often looking out of their depth against the more established teams.

Saturday’s match was only the third one-day international between the two teams and defeat for India would have been a major embarrassment despite last year’s tie in the Asia Cup.

India were on the back foot right at the start of the match when in-form opener Rohit Sharma, who has scored two hundreds so far in the tournament, was dismissed for just one by off-spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman.

The rest of India’s powerful top order all got established, with Kohli making 67 from 63 balls, but none went on to play a decisive innings for the two-time champions.

 


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