India and Afghanistan faced off each other in the Super Four stage of the Asia Cup 2018 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Tuesday (September 25).
India made as many as five changes to their side. KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, Siddarth Kaul, Deepak Chahar and Khaleel Ahmed were drafted into the playing XI in place of Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Yuzvendra Chahal. Veteran campaigner MS Dhoni led India in Rohit’s absence. It was Dhoni’s 200th ODI for India as a captain.
Afghanistan captain Asghar Afghan won the toss and elected to bat. Mohammad Shahzad struck a brilliant century (124) to help Afghanistan post a competitive total of 252/8 in 50 overs. Mohammad Nabi was another notable contributor with the bat as he scored 64 off 56 balls in the latter part of the innings. For India, Ravindra Jadeja took three wickets whereas Kuldeep Yadav chipped in with two scalps.
Chasing the target, India got off to a flier with Rahul and Rayudu adding 110 runs for the opening wicket. Both of them were in full flow and hit the Afghanistan bowlers all over the park. However, India lost Rayudu (57) and Rahul (60) in quick succession. Coming at number 4, Dhoni (8) also failed to make a mark with the bat and all of a sudden India were in a spot of bother.
Playing his first ODI match after nine months, Manish Pandey (8) struggled to get going during his brief stay at the crease. The duo of Dinesh Karthik and Kedar Jadhav bailed India out of trouble with a 38-run partnership for the fifth wicket. However, after Jadhav (19) got run-out India lost wickets in cluster.
Needing 13 runs in the last two overs, India scored 6 runs in the penultimate over but lost Kuldeep and Kaul, courtesy a couple of brilliant piece of fielding from Afghanistan. Ravindra Jadeja hit Rashid Khan for a boundary in the second ball of the 50th over to tilt the match in India’s favour but he couldn’t keep the composure and skied the final delivery. Jadeja (25) was eventually caught by Najibullah at mid-wicket as the match ended in a tie.
Like always the Twitterverse was buzzing during the match with experts sharing their valuable inputs.
Here are some of the tweets:
Such a great game of cricket ???? !! An outstanding performance by team Afghanistan ???????? @ACBofficials against the world class indian team !! @MShahzad077 a well deserved ???? !! https://t.co/CEIZ1MHJuz— Shahid Afridi (@SAfridiOfficial) September 25, 2018
This must be a special day for @ACBofficials . Securing a tie against Team India is a monumental achievement and every Afghanistan player can be very proud of their grit and fight. There is something special in this Afghanistan team, have been most impressivein Asia Cup #INDvAFG— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) September 25, 2018
I'm convinced, to be an Afghanistan cricket fan, you've got to have nerves of steel. Another humdinger but the day belongs to my dear friend @MShahzad077 , well played and keep entertaining buddy #INDvAFG #AsiaCup2018— Deep Dasgupta (@DeepDasgupta7) September 25, 2018
Afghanistan deserved this. A tie but in all fairness they have played unbelievably well and are a force to reckon with. Afghanistan must be very proud , they have some real winners #IndvAfg— Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) September 25, 2018
For all of Afghanistan's pluck, India must ask why a gettable total became so difficult to surpass. Even with the umpiring calls, should still have crossed the line.— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) September 25, 2018
Wow ! That was an unbelievable match. A tie to remember. Afghanistan have won more than hearts. A proud moment in their Cricketing history #AsiaCup2018— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) September 25, 2018