World Cup 2019: Mohammed Shami Hat-Trick Seals India's Nervy Win Over Afghanistan
Mohammed Shami took a dramatic hat-trick to clinch a thrilling 11-run win for India over Afghanistan.
India beat Afghanistan by 11 runs in World Cup league match
Mohammed Shami took a hat-trick in the final over of the match
India remain unbeaten in World Cup 2019
India were given a mighty scare by a valiant Afghanistan team but Virat Kohli's team managed to come out on top by 11 runs to keep their unbeaten record in World Cup 2019 intact. Mohammed Shami took a hat-trick in the final over to break Afghan hearts and get India across the line in a thrilling World Cup 2019 league stage match at The Rose Bowl in Southampton on Saturday. India's 50th win in World Cup cricket didn't come as easy as many expected. Afghanistan were expected to roll over and be a footnote to India's march to the semis, but they did anything but that. Afghan spinners did brilliantly to restrict India's famed batting line-up to 224 for eight. They backed it up with a dogged batting display with Mohammad Nabi's fighting half-century keeping Afghanistan in the chase right till the end. But it wasn't to be a fairytale ending for the Afghans as Jasprit Bumrah delivered a breathtaking 49th over, which was followed up by Shami's hat-trick -- the second by an Indian in World Cup after Chetan Sharma in 1987.
Afghanistan, appearing at only their second World Cup, lost the toss but restricted India to 224 for eight in their 50 overs, giving themselves a genuine chance for a huge upset.
They were well set at 106-2 in the 29th over, even though the run-rate was starting to edge up, but two wickets in one over from paceman Jasprit Bumrah removed Rahmat Shah and Hashmatullah Shahidi.
Mohammad Nabi and Najibullah Zadran batted sensibly to keep their side in the hunt, but when Zadran was caught by Yuzvendra Chahal off Hardik Pandya, Afghanistan were 166-6 in the 42nd over.
Nabi was still there in the final over, with 16 required and drilled Shami's first ball down the ground for four.
With an incredible triumph within touching distance, Nabi was caught by Pandya at long on two balls later.
Shami then clean-bowled Aftab Alam and Mujeeb Ur Rahman to seal a nerve-jangling win with a hat-trick.
"We bowled really well. We did well in batting, but credit to Bumrah for how he bowled in the last two or three overs," frustrated Afghanistan captain Gulbadin Naib said.
"The total was not that much but you need 80s or 100s -- 30 or 25s are not enough.
"If you chase 250 then middle order batsmen should go longer and take responsibility."
Earlier, an increasingly fraught India were furious when the umpire turned down a huge lbw shout at the start of the 29th over from Bumrah, who rapped Shah on the pads -- Virat Kohli's side had no reviews left.
Just three balls later Shah, on 36, top-edged a hook and Chahal took a fine low catch running in from fine leg, sending the massed ranks of flag-waving Indian supporters wild.
With his final ball of the over Bumrah turned the game sharply back in India's direction when Shahidi could only offer up a simple caught-and-bowled chance and he departed for 21.
Bumrah -- the world's top-ranked one-day international bowler -- finished with figures of 2 for 39 from his 10 overs, bowling superbly at the death.
Shami finished with figures of 4-40.
"When the captain has so much trust in you, it gives you a lot of confidence to express yourself. That helps me keep a clear head," said man-of-the-match Bumrah.
"There was reverse swing, so you had to rely on your yorkers."
Tight Afghan attack
Afghanistan have been the whipping boys of the tournament in England and Wales, often looking out of their depth against the more established teams.
Saturday's match was only the third one-day international between the two teams and defeat for India would have been a major embarrassment despite last year's tie in the Asia Cup.
India were on the back foot right at the start of the match when in-form opener Rohit Sharma, who has scored two hundreds so far in the tournament, was dismissed for just one by off-spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman.
The rest of India's powerful top order all got established, with Kohli making 67 from 63 balls, but none went on to play a decisive innings for the two-time champions.
They hit just 16 boundaries -- including only one six.
Off-spinner Mujeeb was particularly impressive, conceding just 26 runs in his 10 overs, while leg-spinner Rashid Khan bounced back from the most expensive spell in World Cup history against England to take 1-38.
Kohli, who scored half-centuries against Australia and Pakistan, reached his third consecutive fifty of the tournament off 48 balls, with four fours, but was caught by Shah off the bowling of Nabi.
Kedar Jadhav reached his fifty off 66 balls, giving the scorecard a look of respectability and the total ultimately proved just too much for Afghanistan.
(With AFP inputs)