World Cup favorites, Team India defeated Afghanistan in a nail-biting match at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 on Saturday. Afghanistan gave an upset scare to the ‘Men in Blue’ during the 11-run defeat at The Rose Bowl, Southampton.
The match saw some of the key performances from both the teams. However, it was the experienced Indian team who held their nerves to escape a close match against the underdog Afghani team. Let’s take a look at the major highlights of the match between India and Afghanistan at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.
ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 India vs Afghanistan: Mujeeb Ur Rehman’s spell
Mujeeb Ur Rehman and Aftab gave the perfect start to Afghanistan after India won the toss and choose to bat. The two bowlers created pressure for the in-form Indian openers, Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul with giving away just 7 runs in the first four overs.
Mujeeb gave the early breakthrough to his team after he took the big wicket of Rohit Sharma in the very first ball of the fifth over. The carrom ball worked well as it spun away from Rohit very late with his lazy foot movement because of which, he could not cover the spin and the ball hit the stumps. Mujeeb did a great job with the ball as gave only 26 runs in his 10-overs spell, taking one wicket.
ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 India vs Afghanistan: India Posted a Low Score
India posted the lowest score in 50 overs while batting first since April 2015. The wicket was a bit sluggish and difficult to bat on. The Afghanistani bowlers sucked the power from the Indian batting lineup as they restrict them at a low score of 224 runs in 50 overs. Only Virat Kohli and Kedar Jadhav. could manage to make some runs, out there in the middle.
Virat Kohli played a captain’s knock scoring 67 runs in 63 deliveries with Kedar Jadhav controlling the middle order, making 52 crucial runs for his team. However, no batsman could score more than a strike rate of 100 except for Virat Kohli.
With this half century, Virat Kohli became the first captain after Mohammad Azharuddin to score three consecutive half-centuries at the ICC Cricket World Cup.
ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 India vs Afghanistan: MS Dhoni’s Dismissal
MS Dhoni didn’t look at the best of the form in his 28 runs innings while facing 52 deliveries. He was certainly struggling to rotate the strike.
The pressure was building up on him when he decided to take on Rashid Khan as he went too ahead of his crease and couldn’t judge the googly with the ball moving away from him, he could make a contact with the ball as he was then stumped by Ikram. This is only the second time when MS Dhoni got stumped out after 2011.
ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 India vs Afghanistan: Mohammad Nabi’s Innings
Mohammad Nabi played a sensible inning and guided Afghanistan’s innings to reach closer to the target. Nabi played an impactful inning and almost took the match for his team single-handedly before falling short in the last over.
The right-handed batsman showed his experience and scored 52 runs in 55 balls for his team. He got out at the most crucial moment of the match when Afghanistan required 12 runs in the last 4 balls. Nabi, trying to clear the boundary on Mohammad Shami’s ball.
However, the wall went straight to Hardik Pandya’s safe hands. Unfortunately, Mohammad Nabi couldn’t win the match for his team but he gave some hopes to the Afghanistani team that they can win matches against the big teams.
ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 India vs Afghanistan: Afganistan’s Fighting Chase
The track was a bit sluggish helping the spinners to take some wickets. However, Afghanistan batsman showed some character while chasing a low total against the quality bowling lineup of India.
Afghanistan lost the first wicket early. However, they added decent runs for the second and third wicket, putting back the pressure on the Indian bowlers. It was Jasprit Bumrah, who was struck twice in the 29th over to put the batting team on the backfoot.
The Indian bowlers took wickets in regular intervals but Mohammad Nabi stayed there till the last over to reach the target. However, with no support, Nabi got out in the last over with Mohammad Shami taking a hat trick to seal the match for his team.
ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 India vs Afghanistan: Mohammad Shami
Mohammad Shami, playing his first match at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 after replacing the injured Bhuvneshwar Kumar took 4 wickets including a hat-trick in the final over of the match.
Afghanistan required 16 runs in last over with Mohammad Shami bowling the last over. Nabi batting at 48 hit a boundary in the very first ball. However, Shami came back and took his wicket in the third ball. He then took the last two wickets in the next two consecutive balls, claiming a hat-trick. He became the second Indian palyer and ninth, overall to claim a hat-trick in the ICC Cricket World Cup.