India dodged the bullet, tweets Shoaib Akhtar after Virat Kohli’s men scrape past Afghanistan
Earlier in the day, the Indian batsmen found themselves struggling against the Afghanistan spin attack on a slowish wicket.
Updated - Feb 1, 2020 9:00 pm
India had a scare at the ICC World Cup 2019 in Southampton on Saturday as Afghanistan almost beat them in their league game. The Indian batsmen had an ordinary day after Virat Kohli won the toss and elected to bat. The Men in Blue scored 224 for 8 in 50 overs but then came back to bowl Afghanistan out for 213 to win by 11 runs. Spearhead Mohammed Shami took a hat-trick in the final over of the day to complete the proceedings.
The Indian bowlers kept on overworking to prevent a major embarrassment since Afghanistan are the only side in the tournament without a win while Kohli’s brigade is yet to lose a game. In these circumstances, losing a game to the bottom-placed side would not only have embarrassed India but also put their semi-final chances under an unwanted worry. Their entire bowling attack fired on the day to restrict the Afghans.
Shami returns with a hat-trick
Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar said in a tweet after the match that “India dodged the bullet”. It was indeed a precise observation as Afghanistan remained in the hunt for the moderate total, particularly with Mohammad Nabi scoring a magnificent 52 off 55 balls.
Nabi was caught while trying to clear the boundary and he was followed by the two tail-enders Aftab Alam and Mujeeb Ur Rahman who were clean bowled by Shami. It was Shami’s first match of the tournament as Bhuvneshwar Kumar got injured in the previous game versus Pakistan. He ended up with 4 for 40 though the man of the match award went to Jasprit Bumrah for his 2 for 39 that included brilliant death-over bowling.
— Shoaib Akhtar (@shoaib100mph) June 22, 2019
Earlier in the day, the Indian batsmen found themselves struggling against the Afghanistan spin attack on a slowish wicket. Kohli scored 63-ball 67 while Kedar Jadhav made 52 off 68 balls. However, the likes of KL Rahul (30 off 53), Rohit Sharma (1 off 10) and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (28 off 52) had a tough time scoring runs and after some powerful batting shows against teams like Australia and Pakistan, they could manage only 224 in 50 overs against Afghanistan.