Pace bowler Mohammad Shami picked up a hat-trick as India managed to sneak a close win over Afghanistan in the 28th match of ICC Cricket World Cup played at The Rose Bowl in Southampton. With this result, Afghanistan are out of the race for a place in the semifinals of the Cricket World Cup.
Bowlers put in a clinical performance to restrict India’s star-studded batting lineup to a modest total of 224 for 8 in 50 overs. In reply, Rahmat Shah, Gulbadin Naib and Mohammad Nabi chipped in with crucial scores to take the game down to the wire.
Chasing 225 runs to win, Mohammad Shami provided early breakthrough as Hazratullah Zazai was dismissed in the seventh over of the innings. Gulbadin Naib and Rahmat Shah also put on a 44-run partnership to lead a recovery of sorts for Afghanistan. Shah continued to play well and added 42 runs with Hashmatullah Shahidi to see Afghanistan needing another 118 runs to win the game.
Shah played a mis-timed pull shot to see Jaspreet Bumrah provide much needed breakthrough. Shahidi could not last any longer as he offered a simple catch to Bumrah to see Afghanistan precariously placed at 106 for 4 after 29 overs.
Experienced middle-order batsman Asghar Afghan was clean bowled by Yuzvendra Chahal while trying to go for a big shot. Mohammad Nabi and Najibullah Zadran put on a useful partnership to see Afghanistan close in on the target. Zadran played well and scored 21 off 23 balls with the help of two fours.
All-rounder Hardik Pandya came into the attack and dismissed Najibullah to see Afghanistan lose their sixth wicket with 166 runs on the board. Mohammad Nabi played exceedingly well and it was due to his batting efforts that Afghanistan needed 21 runs off 12 balls to win the game.
Jaspreet Bumrah bowled a perfect over and conceded just 5 runs to see Afghanistan needing 16 runs to win the game. Mohammad Shami conceded a boundary off the first-ball as Nabi brought up his half-century off 54 balls. Nabi was dismissed on the third ball as struck the ball hard straight to long-on fielder. Shami bowled yorkers to Aftab Alam and Mujeeb ur Rahman to become the second bowler for India to take a hat-trick in a World Cup after Chetan Sharma who managed to achieve the feat in 1987.
Mohammad Shami delivered a crucial spell with the old ball to see India beat Afghanistan by 11 runs in a World Cup game played at The Rose Bowl
Earlier in the day, Afghanistan got off to a perfect start as off-spinner Mujeeb ur Rahman dismissed Rohit Sharma in the 4th over of the innings. Indian Captain Virat Kohli added 57 runs with Lokesh Rahul to rebuild the innings after loss of an early wicket. Vijay Shankar came to the crease and put on a 58-run partnership with Virat Kohli to keep the scoreboard ticking for India.
Part-time spinner Rahmat Shah dismissed Shankar, who chipped in with 29 off 41 balls with the help of two boundaries.
Virat Kohli has shown excellent form in this World Cup and notched up his third consecutive half-century of the competition. He scored 67 off 63 balls with the help of five boundaries.
Wicket-keeper batsman MS Dhoni struggled to get going against the spinner and produced a timid performance with the bat. He scored 28 run off 52 balls with the help of three boundaries.
Kedhar Jadhav chipped in with useful half-century to see India take the score beyond 200 runs. The batting all-rounder scored 52 off 68 balls with the help of three fours and a six.
For Afghanistan, Mohammad Nabi and Gulbadin Naib bowled well and picked up two wickets apiece. Rahmat Shah and Rashid Khan also picked up crucial wickets for the side in this game.