This match was supposed to be a dead rubber as India had already qualified for the next stage of the 2018 Asia Cup. However, India’s final Super Four match against Afghanistan hogged netizen’s attention after MS Dhoni was handed the reins as Men in Blue rested several senior Indian players from this game. It must be mentioned that Dhoni had given up captaincy in January 2017 and he was succeeded by current Indian skipper Virat Kohli.
The match became even more electrifying after wicket-keeper batter Mohammad Shahzad, who idolizes Dhoni, smashed a breath-taking century and guided Afghanistan to a respectable total of 252 for 8.
Chasing 253 for a win, Team India looked on track to chase down the total with utmost ease as openers Ambati Rayudu (57 runs off 49 balls) and KL Rahul (60 runs off 66 balls) scored the fifties and put up a 110-run stand for the first wicket. Number three Dinesh Karthik also chipped in with a valuable contribution of 44 runs.
The encounter once again turned thrilling after India’s middle-order collapses as their next three batters – Dhoni (8), Manish Pandey (8) and Kedar Jadhav (19) – added just 35 runs on the scoreboard.
In the end, India needed seven runs to win in the last over of the match with one wicket in hand. The final over of this enthralling encounter was bowled by Afghanistan’s spin wizard Rashid Khan and Ravindra Jadeja was at the other end.
Jadeja refused to take a single off the first ball. He smashed the second ball over midwicket and it went for a four. The spin-bowling all-rounder hit the third ball of the over to square leg and took a quick single and in the process exposed India’s number 11 Khaleel Ahmed to Rashid.
The Afghan spinner bowled a googly to Khaleel and the Indian hit the ball towards fine leg and ran for a single to change the strike. With one run needed off the last two balls, Jadeja lost control of his shot as Najibullah Zadran took a very easy catch at deep midwicket and the match ended in a tie.