Shahzad’s Century Helps Afghanistan Post 252/8 Against India
Mohammad Shahzad scored his fifth ODI century as Afghanistan set India a 253-run target.
Mohammad Shahzad’s stunning century on Tuesday, 25 September, helped Afghanistan post 252/8 against MS Dhoni-led India in their Super Four match of the Asia Cup.
30-year-old Shahzad scored a 88-ball hundred, and was eventually out caught for 124, off a delivery from Kedar Jadhav. He smashed seven sixes and 11 boundaries during his knock.
While his opening partner Javed Ahmadi was even struggling to get a single, Shahzad thoroughly entertained the crowd with a barrage of big hits. The way he was playing can be judged that his partnerAhmadi played 30 balls and scored five runs in the 65-run partnership for the first wicket. He was ruthless especially against the rookie Indian pacers Khaleel Ahmed, Siddarth Kaul and debutant Deepak Chahar, who were played in place of the rested Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Yuzvendra Chahal.
Already through to the final of the tournament, defending champions India decided to rest skipper Rohit Sharma and his deputy Shikhar Dhawan. Lokesh Rahul and Manish Pandey replaced them in the eleven. MS Dhoni – who gave up captaincy nearly two years back – walked out for the toss, leading India for the 200th time in ODIs.
Right from the start Shahzad, played freely and punished Indian bowlers all around the park. Unperturbed by the fall of the wicket in the 13th over, Shahzad kept on playing fiercely. With 81 runs on the board, Rahmat Shah (3) was dismissed by Ravindra Jadeja in the 15th over.
Afghanistan would have been in deep trouble if it was not for Shahzad, who was running out of partners at one stage with his team reeling at 82 for four from 65 for no loss after Indian spinners Kuldeep Yadav (2/38) and Ravindra Jadeja (3/46) came into play. The chinaman was even on a hat-trick.
Shahzad was then joined by Gulbadin Naib (15 off 46) and the two shared a 50-run stand for the fifth wicket. After his dismissal, Nabi (64) started plundering the bowlers, hitting four sixes and three boundaries to take help the team cross 250.
New batsman Nabi and Najibullah Zadran then joined in the middle and added a few runs before Zadran was sent back to the pavilion by Jadeja.
Towards the end, Khaleel Ahmed packed up in-form Nabi and Afghanistan finished the innings at 252/8.
For India, Jadeja picked up three wickets while Kuldeep took two wickets.
(With inputs from IANS and PTI)
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