The Asia Cup 2018 Super Four clash between India (252 all out) and Afghanistan ended in a tie as Rashid Khan bowled a brilliant last over, defending just seven runs. Afghanistan opted to bat first after winning the toss and posted a competitive 252/8 in 50 overs as opener Mohammad Shahzad (124) struck a brilliant century. Mohammad Shahzad was the aggressor for Afghanistan as he played his natural game and sent the Indian bowlers on a leather hunt.
In reply, India got off to a great start as new opener KL Rahul and Ambati Rayudu played wonderful cricket and kept the scoreboard ticking with occasional boundaries, upping the ante after the first five overs. However, both the openers were sent back after they notched up their respective fifties. Following that, India kept losing wickets in regular intervals but were still in top due to their strong start. Title holders India have already qualified for Friday’s final where they meet the winners of Pakistan and Bangladesh match in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.
The result was also a huge morale booster for Afghanistan, who could have easily been in the final if not for the last over losses against Pakistan and Bangladesh earlier in Super Four matches. Opener Mohammad Shahzad had set up the game for Afghanistan with a whirlwind 124 off 116, the most significant hundred of his career, to take his team to 252 for eight. The 253-run target was a tricky one for India. India remained unbeaten in the competition though they were left disappointed with the tie.
Afghanistan players, on the other hand, can go back home with their heads held high, having competed hard in the tournament. India made as many as five changes in the eleven to give an opportunity to the reserves and rest key players including captain Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Yuzvendra Chahal.