A final over hat-trick by Mohammed Shami helped India sneak home by 11 runs in a thriller against Afghanistan at Southampton. Mohammad Nabi scored a valiant 52 but his dismissal in the final over made it harder for his team to get across.
India: K.L. Rahul, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli (capt), Vijay Shankar, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Kedar Jadhav, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah.
Aghanistan: Hazratullah Zazai, Gulbadin Naib (capt), Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Asghar Afghan, Mohammad Nabi, Ikram Ali Khil (wk), Najibullah Zadran, Rashid Khan, Aftab Alam, Mujeeb Ur Rahman.
India’s star-studded line-up could well break a few batting records when they face the tournament’s favourite whipping boys Afghanistan in what threatens to be another lopsided contest at the ICC World Cup, on Saturday.
One of the title contenders, India’s match against Afghanistan could well be a glorified net session in which they would like to put up a resounding performance that not only eases their passage to the semi-final but also ensures a good net run-rate.
Afghanistan’s controversial campaign, marred by poor on and off-field decisions, has gone from bad to worse. And they now face the onerous task of squaring off against a galaxy of world class players, whose performance graph is on the upswing.
India is one team that endured tougher matches right at the beginning and Virat Kohli’s men have looked quite invincible in their one-sided wins against South Africa, Australia and Pakistan.
Kohli on cusp of world record
India skipper Virat Kohli will have the chance to add another feather to his cap by becoming the fastest batsman to score 20,000 international runs when he takes strike against Afghanistan in their World Cup tie at the Rose Bowl in Southampton on Saturday.
Kohli currently has 19, 896 runs to his name and is just 104 runs short of the record that legendary Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar holds together with West Indies great Brian Lara.