India vs Afghanistan, ICC World Cup 2019: Virat Kohli and co. edge out Afghanistan in thriller- Watch highlights
An inspired Afghanistan gave India a massive scare in Southampton, but the Indian bowlers led by Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami showed their class and pedigree as they held their nerves to hand India their fourth win of the World Cup campaign.
On a sluggish pitch, the Afghan spinners restricted the Indian batting order to 224/8, and were in command during their chase too, but the Indian bowlers kept chipping away at the wickets. Mohammad Nabi was playing a flawless innings at the other end, but his dismissal which led to a Shami-hat-trick sealed the deal for India.
Afghanistan were bowled out for 213 in pursuit of a manageable 225 run target which at one stage looked gettable after the Indian middle-order flopped in their first World Cup test.
“This game was way more important for us, because things didn’t go as planned. That’s when you need to show character and bounce back,” Indian captain Virat Kohli said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
Rating the win over Afghanistan as a special one, the India captain said the wicket was a difficult one for stroke-making because of its two-paced nature.
“This is right up there (as a win). You win the toss, and you decide to bat and then you see the wicket slow down. You think 260 or 270 would be a good total,” he said. “At the halfway stage, we had our doubts in our minds, but we also had self-belief in the change rooms. As soon as I went in, I understood the pace of the pitch. Cross-batted shots aren’t on, and a lot of horizontal bat shots cost us on this pitch.”
Watch the full highlights of the match: