Mohammad Shami took a hat-trick in the final over against Afghanistan to seal an 11-run win at the Rose Bowl.
Afghanistan were excellent. They put in a combined bowling effort that saw them strike early, throttle India in the middle overs and then they struck again at the back end to restrict India to 224-8 in 50 overs.
Their spinners were economical. Mohammad Nabi and Mujeeb Ur Rahman teamed up up front, removing both of India’s openers, as India scored 64-2 in 14.2 overs.
Virat Kohli was India’s top performer, as he scored his third-consecutive half-century before he was India’s fourth wicket to fall and Nabi’s second victim, having dragged his side to 135 runs by the 31st over.
MS Dhoni scored 28 off 52 balls before he was dismissed by Rashid Khan, which put Afghanistan in control with regard to restricting India to a low total.
A double strike from Gulbadin Naib in the final over helped restrict India to 224-8.
Afghanistan batted with caution on their low chase. Their innings was built on cameos.
Gulbadin Naib (27), Rahmat Shah (36) and Hashmatullah Shahidi (21) taking their side past the 100-run mark. India continued to take wickets at crucial times just as Afghanistan was starting to gain momentum.
Najibullah Zadran (21) and Rashid Khan’s (14) contributions helped their side to 190 runs in 45.4 overs.
Nabi held the key to his side’s chances of a historic victory. Afghanistan needed 21 off the last two overs, and they only reduced the required runs to 16 off the last over.
Nabi scored an entertaining 55-ball 52 but he lost his wicket three balls into the final over after hitting a four off ball one.
Mohammad Shami (4-38) was the man for India. He removed Nabi, Aftab Alam and Mujeeb Ur Rahman for a hat-trick that sealed the win for India.
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