Afghanistan pulled off a dramatic tie with India in what was their third successive last-over thriller in this Asia Cup 2018 at the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Meanwhile, Ravindra Jadeja hoped to guide India home in the chase of 253 for victory, as they required 17 from the last three overs, 13 from two and seven from the last – but with only one wicket in hand.
Jadeja hit five from the first three balls of Rashid Khan’s final over before No.11 Khaleel Ahmed managed a single, to leave scores level and Jadeja on strike with two balls left. When he mis-hit a pull to mid-wicket to be caught for 25, Afghanistan celebrated as if it was a famous victory. There’s no doubt they had won a few hearts.
Previously, MS Dhoni rode again as captain of India, but after he lost the toss it was the other MS – Mohammad Shahzad – who grabbed the attention. The Afghanistan keeper reached a century with his team’s total on just 131 – the joint lowest team total at the point a batsman passed three figures in ODIs.
Shahzad hit with a familiar ferocity throughout before finishing on 124 off 116 balls before hitting Kedar to Karthik at long off. That was the moment Mohammad Nabi began to kick on and help Afghanistan put 252 runs on board.
It was cricket who won after all and the Afghans winning the hearts with their brilliant display of cricket.
Here is the players rating of team India from the Super Four clash of this Asia Cup against Afghanistan:
KL RAHUL (8/10)
KL Rahul made the most of the opportunity playing a useful knock of 60 runs. He provided India with a good start to the chase of 252 runs set by Afghanistan in the Asia Cup clash.
Rahul’s knock came from 66 balls including five fours and one six.
AMBATI RAYUDU (8.5/10)
Ambati Rayudu has been in the blue moon since the commencement of the Indian Premier League. He has capitalised this chance to the best possible and presented his case in front of the selectors.
Rayudu was once again handful today scoring 57 runs off 49 balls including four fours and sixes each.
DINESH KARTHIK (7.5/10)
Dinesh Karthik had the key to India’s success, however, he failed to finish the game giving his wicket at a crucial juncture. He looked calm and composed but got out when his side needed him the most.
Karthik compiled 44 runs with the help of four boundaries.
MS DHONI (C&WK) (5.5/10)
MS Dhoni will remember this game for a long long time as he returned to lead India for the 200th time in this Asia Cup clash. However, it didn’t turn all lucky as he was unfortunate to get out on a wrong decision.
Dhoni, meanwhile, was at his usual best behind the stumps returning with two stumpings.
MANISH PANDEY (3/10)
Manish Pandey failed to cash in on the opportunity to be in the good books of the selectors. Coming from the back outstanding series for India A, Pandey got his first game in this Asia Cup Cup.
However, much to his dismay, he got out cheaply scoring eight runs from 15 deliveries.
KEDAR JADHAV (6/10)
Kedar Jadhav made contributions with both bat and ball but his untimely runout is what kept India away from the winning runs. Kedar returned with one for 27 before chipping in with 19 runs, although failed to take his team all the way.
The all-rounder will have to be in his prime form ahead of the Asia Cup final on Friday.
RAVINDRA JADEJA (7.5/10)
Ravindra Jadeja had a good game with both bat and ball, however, will curse himself for giving the match despite having it in their hands. He picked three wickets and contributed with 25 crucial runs.
However, the team management will want him to continued this rich vein of form in the finals.
DEEPAK CHAHAR (4/10)
Deepak Chahar will look to forget his ODI debut as he got a good bashing from Mohammad Shahzad, who was in blistering form. Chahar gave away 37 runs from four overs picking up the lone wicket of Gulbadin Naib.
He also contributed with 12 runs but it was not enough for India to overcome the target of Afghanistan.
KULDEEP YADAV (6.5/10)
Kuldeep Yadav kept on with the pressure from one side despite some good hitting from Mohammad Shahzad. He returned with two for 38 in his full quota against the likes of dangerous looking Afghanistan batters.
However, his real test will be in the finals of this Asia Cup 2018 on September 28.
SIDDARTH KAUL (3.5/10)
Siddarth Kaul got a game after coming off as a replacement, however, couldn’t do much to make a mark. Kaul went for 58 runs in his nine overs and went wicketless.
KHALEEL AHMED (5/10)
The young fast bowler has impressed in whatever limited opportunities he has got. Khaleel returned with one for 45 in his quota during a time when Afghanistan came all guns blazing.
Meanwhile, the selectors will certainly keep a close watch on this young prospect from Rajasthan.