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World Cup 2019: India beat Afghanistan by 11 runs in thrilling low-scoring match 

Pavan Suresh
ANALYST
News
291   //    23 Jun 2019, 00:41 IST

India v Afghanistan - ICC Cricket World Cup 2019
India v Afghanistan - ICC Cricket World Cup 2019

India survived a scare before beating Afghanistan by 11 runs to register their fourth win of ICC World Cup 2019 in the match played at Rose Bowl, Southampton on Saturday.

Indian captain Virat Kohli won the toss and decided to bat first. Mujeeb Ur Rahman got the early breakthrough, dismissing Rohit Sharma for 1. Kohli then came to the crease and looked positive; at the end of 10 overs, India were 41 for 1.

After the power play, KL Rahul and Kohli put more pressure on the Afghanistan bowling. Just when things were looking good for India, Rahul played a poor stroke and was dismissed for 30 by Mohammad Nabi. Rahul and Kohli had added 57 runs for the 2nd wicket.

Vijay Shankar came to the crease and rotated the strike well, but the Afghanistan bowlers kept it tight and didn't allow the Indian batsmen to score runs easily. Rahmat Shah struck by dismissing Shankar for 29; Shankar and Kohli had added 58 runs for the 3rd wicket.

The Indian captain played steadily to reach his fifty off 48 balls before Nabi got him out for 67 to stem the run flow. MS Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav struggled to score runs against the Afghanistan spinners, and added 57 runs for the 5th wicket at a snail's pace.

Dhoni was particularly slow and was dismissed for 28 off 52 balls. Hardik Pandya failed to score any runs too, but Jadhav showed character by scoring fifty off 66 balls. India posted 224 for 8 in their 50 overs.

Chasing the target of 225, Hazaratullah Zazai and Afghanistan captain Gulbadin Naib got off to a sedate start, adding 20 runs for the opening wicket. Mohammed Shami made an early breakthrough, dismissing Zazai for 10, and at the end of 10 overs Afghanistan were 37 for 1.

After the power play, Naib played with positive intent before Pandya rid of him for 27. Naib and Rahmat Shah had added 44 runs for the 2nd wicket.

Shah and Hashmatullah Shahidi steadied the Afghanistan innings, taking singles and hitting occasional boundaries. Bumrah got the breakthrough by dismissing Shah and then Shahidi in the same over to put India ahead in the game. The two had added 42 runs for the 3rd wicket.

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The Indian bowlers kept it tight from there on, not allowing the Afghanistan batsmen to score runs easily. Yuzvendra Chahal dismissed Asghar Afghan for 8 runs to put India on the front foot.

Najibullah Zadran and Mohmmad Nabi then played their heart out before Pandya broke the partnership by dismissing Zadran for 21. Zadran and Nabi had added 36 runs for the 6th wicket.

Nabi kept Afghanistan in the hunt by playing some lovely strokes. But Chahal struck again by getting the wicket of Rashid Khan for 14.

With 16 runs required off final over, Nabi reached his fifty off 53 balls before Shami took a hat-trick to help India register a thrilling 11-run win.

Brief scores: India 224 for 8 in 50 overs (Virat Kohli 67, Kedar Jadhav 52, Mohammad Nabi 2/33, Gulbadin Naib 2/51) beat Afghanistan 213 in 49.5 overs (Mohammad Nabi 52, Mohammad Shami 4/40, Bumrah 2/39) by 11 runs. 

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