Jasprit Bumrah picked two wickets in one over to put India back in the hunt (Image Credit: Twitter)
New Delhi :
Afghanistan team were two down for 106 runs after 28 overs, chasing 224 runs against top-ranked side India. With Hashmatullah Shahidi and Rahmat Shah still at the crease, it looked, Afghanistan will do the biggest upset in world cricket. However, in the 29th over, Indian skipper Virat Kohli introduced Jasprit Bumrah back into the attack, who produced two important wickets in the same over to put two-time champion India on the driver's seat. In the end, the equation had come down to 16 off 6 balls with Mohammed Shami bowling the last over. He held his nerves and scalped hat-trik to help India escape with 11 run victory against brave Afghanistan at the Rose Bowl in Southampton.
Earlier in the game, Afghanistan skipper Gulbadin Naib started with Mujeeb Ur Rahman and the move worked brilliantly for the side. The in-form opener Rohit Sharma pushed and nudged for nine deliveries before losing his off stump on the tenth. The opener failed to read the carrom ball from the wrist spinner and played inside the line only to see the ball go past the outside edge and crash into the stumps.
Once highest run-getter departed, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul got the Indian innings back on track, registering a 57-run stand but latter continued to struggle against spin and got out playing a disastrous reverse sweep. The track didn't offer much pace, and Kohli played maturely to rotate strike to get involve in another fifty run stand with Vijay Shankar. Vijay, however, failed to kick on after his start and was trapped in front by Rahmat Shah. He had purred to 29 off 41 and looked set to drive the innings forward but failed to connect a sweep in the 27th over and lost his wicket.
The rash shot from Indian skipper Virat Kohli further slumped India to 135 for 4 in 31 overs. MS Dhoni took time to settle in, and Kedar Jadhav too adopted a cautious approach. The bowlers continued to dominate and didn't give anything to Indian batsmen which eventually led wickets to tumble and India to finish at 224 for the loss of eight wickets in 50 overs. In response, Hazratullah and Gulbadin Naib started off the proceedings for Afghanistan with Indian team all pumped up to defend the low score.
Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah bowled in the right lines and didn't let the opposition batsmen take things away from them. Interestingly, in the third over when India was desperately looking for a wicket and Mohammed Shami bowled a full and straight length delivery to Hazratullah Zazai that seems to have caught him right in front and the Indian players appealed straightaway which was turned down by Aleem Dar.But Virat Kohli's men reviewed the on-field decision and went upstairs. However, India lost the lone review as the impact was outside leg. Hazratullah Zazai didn't utilise the opportunity as Shami got the first blood to send the opener back for 10 runs.
Skipper Gulbadin Naib and Rahmat Shah stiched a partnership together, but Naib threw his wicket away. Hasmatullah Shahidi and Rahmat Shah played for 12 odd overs and gave Indian team some hiccups. However, Indian skipper introduced Jasprit Bumrah just at the right time and both were sent back to the pavilion in the same over.
The pressure continued to loom over Afghanistan as Indian bowlers bowled right in the block holes and didn't give anything easy to the opposition. In the end, men-in-blue were slightly better on the day and snatched two important points to move up to the second position in points table.