India and Afghanistan met in the penultimate super four stage match at Dubai. India was looking to go into the finals undefeated; while Afghanistan was looking for an upset win having already bowed out of the tournament.
Afghanistan captain Asghar Afghan won the toss and chose to bat first. India decided to rest five of their main players in Dhawan, Bhuvneshwar, Chahal, Bumrah and captain Rohit Sharma, which meant that captaincy duties fell on MS Dhoni, who captained India after 2016 and completed 200 matches as India’s ODI captain.
Afghanistan scored 252/8 in their 50 overs and there were two stars for them batting wise. One was Mohammad Nabi, who scored 64 off 56 balls with 3 fours and 4 sixes, but the bigger hero for Afghanistan was opener Mohammad Shahzad, who smashed 124 in 116 balls with 7 sixes and 11 fours to his name. It was the fifth century from his bat and the first by any batsman from outside the original 10 Test playing nations against India.
Shahzad was brutal on both spinners and fast bowlers and only showed Kuldeep Yadav some respect. He spoiled the party for debutant Deepak Chahar, who went for 37 runs in his 4 overs. But Shahzad entertained the crowd with his hitting and with Nabi’s help took Afghanistan to a solid total. Ravindra Jadeja picked 3/46 and Kuldeep picked 2/38.
India without their regular openers saw KL Rahul and Ambati Rayudu open the batting and they added 110 runs for the first wicket. Both got starts with Rayudu making 57 off 49 balls (4 fours and 4 sixes) and Rahul making 60 off 66 balls (5 fours and 1 six).
But they got out when they should have carried on. MS Dhoni and Manish Pandey scored 8 apiece and though Jadhav scored 19 and looked solid, he was run out in unfortunate fashion. A disappointment came from Dinesh Karthik, who toiled hard for 44 off 66 balls, but was given out LBW incorrectly.
Afghanistan bowlers picked wickets at regular intervals and a couple of decisions went their way. The match went right down to the last over, which was bowled by Rashid Khan.
Jadeja (25) hit a four off the second ball to bring the match closer and then Rashid picked the wicket of Jadeja off the penultimate ball to tie the game.
AFG 252/8 (M SHAHZAD 124; R JADEJA 3/46) tied the match with IND 252 ( KL RAHUL 60; M NABI 2/40)