Twitter Reactions: India survive almighty Afghan challenge in Southampton

Twitter Reactions: India survive almighty Afghan challenge in Southampton

Mohammed Shami pulled out a hat-trick in the last over of the encounter to seal the game.

Indian team
Indian team. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Very few would’ve given Afghanistan a chance to make India sweat in their match at the Rose Bowl in Southampton. Defying all the odds, Gulbadin Naib’s men came out all guns blazing. The match went down to the last over where the Afghans needed to score 16 with Mohammad Nabi in the middle. But, eventually, the Men in Blue won the match of nerves and got home in the heart-racer by 11 runs.

After electing to bat first, India were expected to put on a show, but the Afghans had other ideas. On a sluggish deck, the slower bowlers kept them well in check and the Men in Blue could only manage 224 in their 50 overs. A lot of weight was on Rohit Sharma but he was castled by Mujeeb Ur Rahman in the fifth over. KL Rahul and Virat Kohli put their heads down for a 57-run stand. Rahul got a start, having scored 30 and an ugly reverse sweep of Mohammad Nabi led to his dismissal.

Kohli looked fluent for his 67 with five fours but he became Nabi’s second victim. MS Dhoni buckled down and churned out 28 hard-fought runs, however, Rashid Khan got his number to leave India exposed. Part-time leg-spinner Rahmat Shah also chipped in with the wicket of Vijay Shankar for 29. Nevertheless, it was because of Kedar Jadhav’s 68-ball 52 that helped India post the competitive score.

Mohammad Nabi almost does it  

At the start, Hazratullah Zazai survived an LBW scare, but Mohammed Shami castled him to pick up the first Afghan wicket. Gulbadin Naib threatened with his 27 runs, but Hardik Pandya got the dangerman. Rahmat Shah and Hashmatullah Shahidi didn’t give up and got the scoreboard moving. The 29th over turned out to be crucial in the context of the game, as Jasprit Bumrah dismissed both Shah (36) and Shahidi (21) to bring India back in the game that was fast running away.

Asghar Afghan perished in the quest to up the ante as well. With the required rate over six, Najibullah Zadran tried hard, but he fell prey to Pandya. The onus was thereafter on Nabi to soak in the pressure and get the Afghans through to glory.

The veteran scored a masterful fifty and didn’t throw in the towel. Shami removed him for 52 and virtually sealed the fate of the match. Shami thereafter dismissed Aftab Alam and Mujeeb Ur Rahman to become the second after Chetan Sharma with a hat-trick in the World Cup.

Here is how Twitter reacted to India’s thrilling win: