The Report by Deivarayan Muthu
It was the fifth match in the the ongoing Asia Cup series, in the super four stage, played in Dubai, on September 25th.
A dead-rubber ODI in Dubai suddenly drew interest when MS Dhoni, having given up India’s limited-overs captaincy in January 2017, was handed the reins once again because India rested Rohit Sharma among several others. It burst into life when Mohammad Shahzad – whose hero is Dhoni – smoked a record-equaling century to lead Afghanistan to 252 for 8. It then peaked into an epic thriller when India’s middle order unraveled, leaving them seven to get off the final over, bowled by Rashid Khan, with just one wicket in hand.
After refusing a single off the first ball, Ravindra Jadeja slog swept the second ball over midwicket. It seemingly hit the ad skirting on the full and had Rohit thinking it was a six in the dressing room, but after several replays TV umpire Rod Tucker ruled it a four. Jadeja then knocked the third ball to square leg for a single, leaving No. 11 Khaleel Ahmed, who was only playing his second ODI, exposed. Leaving cover open, Rashid unfurled a googly, which Khaleel inside-edged to short fine leg and hared across to the other end. Then, with one needed off two balls, Jadeja lost his head and slapped a rank half-tracker into the lap of Najibullah Zadran at deep midwicket – the only man in the deep on the leg side. A game of extremely fine margins resulted in the 36th tie in 4046 ODIs.
Summarized scores: Afghanistan 252 for 8 (Shahzad 124, Nabi 64, Jadeja 3-46) tied with India 252 (Rahul 60, Nabi 2-40, Rashid 2-41)