Afghanistan cricket team on Tuesday pulled off a remarkable performance against India in the ongoing Asia Cup after the thrilling encounter ended in a tie.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who was leading the team could not have envisaged this result as Afghan players put paid to his wishes of registering one more win under his comeback captaincy.
Chasing a competitive 253, the defending champions got off to a flier from the new opening pair of Lokesh Rahul and Ambati Rayudu before a mini collapse, coupled with a few run-outs and umpiring errors, eventually resulted in a tie.
Rahul scored 60 off 66 balls, while Rayudu played a knock of 57 off 49 balls. It was left for Ravindra Jadeja to score the remaining seven runs in the last over to win the match. He scored a boundary on the second ball off leg-spinner Rashid Khan before taking two singles with last man Khaleel Ahmed in company.
India needed 1 runs with two balls remaining and Jadeja on strike. Jadeja struck the fifth ball of the over towards mid-wicket but only to find Najibullah, whose alert fielding ensured that India were denied a victory against the cricketing minnows.
Afghanistan’s gutsy performance against Indian earned the team plenty of praise even from Indian fans on social media. Congress MP Shashi Tharoor wrote, “The tie between India & Afghanistan this evening was the perfect result. Neither side deserved to lose.”
Former cricketer Virender Sehwag tweeted, “Wow ! That was an unbelievable match. A tie to remember. Afghanistan have won more than hearts. A proud moment in their Cricketing history.”
Here are some other reactions:
Pakistan beat Afghanistan which means Pakistan beat India ?
— omar r quraishi (@omar_quraishi) September 26, 2018
Afghanistan “spirited/passionate” side is so lazy and patronising. They’re incredibly skilled and smart cricketers.
— Osman Samiuddin (@OsmanSamiuddin) September 25, 2018
Well played Afghanistan! Salute to your spirited game till the last ball.
— Ahsan Iqbal (@betterpakistan) September 25, 2018
Brief Scores: Afghanistan: 252/8 (Mohammad Shahzad 124, Mohammad Nabi 64; Ravindra Jadeja 3/46) tie with India 252 (Lokesh Rahul 60, Ambati Rayudu 56, Dinesh Karthik 44; Mohammed Nabi 2/40, Rashid Khan 2/41).