New Delhi, Oct 11: Electing to bat first, Afghanistan were 264/8 in 49 overs against hosts India in the 9th match of the ICC ODI World Cup at the Arun Jaitley Stadium, here on Wednesday.
In the Day and Night encounter, India effected one change by bringing in 'man with a golden arm' Shardul Thakur in place of veteran offie Ravichandran Ashwin.
However, despite their loss against Bangladesh in the opening encounter, Afghanistan decided to stick to their same playing XI. The big question however remains, will dew play a part in the second half of the match, when Afghanistan spinners bowl.
As far as Afghanistan is concerned, their top three batters though got good starts, but they just could not convert that to big scores. Keeper Rahmanullah Gurbaz (21), his opening partner Ibrahim Zardan (22) and Rahmat Shah (16), three of them fell to Indian pacers.
Rahmanullah was caught by Thakur off Hardik Pandya trying to play a big shot. The other opener Ibrahim fell prey to Jasprit Bumrah, out caught behind the stumps by KL Rahul. Rahmat Shah was declared LBW to Shardul Thakur.
At one time, they were struggling at 63/3 in 13.1 overs. But skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi and Azmatullah Omarzai played with caution and patience to fight back. They both hit half centuries and proved given a chance Afghans can tee off against any bowling side.
But after sharing a vital 121 run partnership with his skipper, Omarzai returned to pavilion being bowled by Hardik Pandya. He made a compact 62 in 69 balls.
Kuldeep Yadav ended Skipper Shahidi's valiant innings. Shahidi departed after making 80 (88 balls), falling LBW to Kuldeep.
Once Bumrah was reintroduced to the attack, he got new man Najibullah Zardan (2), caught by Virat Kohli. In the same over he got Mohd Nabi (19) making him clean LBW. Afghanistan were soon reduced to 235/7 in 45 overs.