Afghanistan restricted India to 224 runs for 8 in their stipulated quota 50 overs in their World Cup tie at The Rose Bowl, Southampton on Saturday. India Skipper Virat Kohli top-scored for the Men in Blue with 67. Mohammad Nabi was the star bowler for the Afghans as he scalped two important wickets of KL Rahul (30) and India skipper Virat Kohli by conceding only 33 runs in 9 overs.
Winning the toss, Virat Kohli decided to bat first.
Rohit Sharma (1) fell to Mujeeb Ur Rahman when the scorecard read 7 for 1. Afghanistan’s spinners bowled brilliantly. Overall, the spin quartet of Rahmat Shah, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Mohammad Nabi conceded just 119 runs in 34 overs and scalped 5 wickets.
It is to note that before this match, the Men in Blue had not lost a single wicket to spin bowling in the ongoing World Cup but Afghanistan wiped off the history on Saturday to slow down the Indian juggernaut.
Though wickets fell at regular intervals for India, Kedar Jadhav, with his knock of 52, ensured India get a fighting total.
To the Afghans’ respite, Rashid Khan, who got an infamous tag of conceding most runs in a World Cup match in Afghanistan’s previous tie with England, bounced back strongly with the figures of 1 for 38 in his 10 overs. He dismissed well-set MS Dhoni (28) who was looking to charge the 20-year-old Afghan.
Now, it will be interesting to see how Mohammed Shami, who has replaced injured Bhuvneshwar Kumar, performs in the adverse conditions. Though Shami has been superb with the ball in recent years, the pace spearhead has not played any match in the mega event so far.
Brief score: India 224 for 8 in 50 overs (Virat Kohli 67, Kedar Jadhav 52, Mohammad Nabi 2/33, Gulbadin Naib 2/51) against Afghanistan.