India had a close win against Afghanistan on Saturday by defending a total of only 225 after failing with the batting to their usual standard of batting in the tournament so far. "A team like Afghanistan doesn't let you play how you want to play", India captain Virat Kohli said. The contest was expected to be a cakewalk for Kohli and boys and yet, the warriors from Afghanistan stood up, they were not going to be shunted away, and they dragged India to the wire, stretched them, gave them a scare and nearly pulled off one of World Cup's greatest upsets.
Rating the win over Afghanistan as a special one, the India captain said the wicket was a hard one for stroke-making because of its two-paced nature.
India's Mohammed Shami made a fairytale World Cup debut with a final over hat-trick but it was team mate Jasprit Bumrah who produced an extraordinary display of virtuoso bowling in Saturday's narrow escape against Afghanistan.
Shami bowled the next ball for a dot as Nabi didn't run for a single.
"The wicket wasn't good for batting in the first half". We didn't gift our wickets.
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Shami dismissed Mohammad Nabi, who top-scored for the Afghans with 52, Aftab Alam and Mujeeb Ur Rahman to complete his hat-trick.
Bumrah was done by the 49th over which then saw Shami bowl the final over with 16 runs in the bank.
Off-spinner Mujeeb was particularly impressive, conceding just 26 runs in his 10 overs, while leg-spinner Rashid Khan bounced back from the most expensive spell in World Cup history against England to take 1-38. "But the intent could have been much better by the middle order batsmen", Tendulkar said.
Hardik Pandya went cheaply and although Kedar Jadhav reached his fifty off 66 balls, Afghanistan will fancy their chances of a major shock. When chasing 220s, you need some batsmen to take responsibility and go longer.
"We have lost four games very badly, but the last two games we have played really well".