The Indian cricket fans would have surely had their hearts in their mouths on 22nd June 2019. For on this date, during a World Cup encounter against the Afghanistan cricket team, the Indian side played out a nail-biting thriller, and at a point in the match, it looked as if Afghanistan might cause a massive upset. But then, a magical hat-trick by Mohammed Shami allowed Virat Kohli and his men to beat the opposition by 11 runs.
India post 224/8
India won the toss and elected to bat first. And, the two men who acted as the catalysts of the Indian batting line-up were Virat Kohli and Kedar Jadhav. While skipper Kohli scored a fluent 67 off 63 deliveries, Jadhav helped himself to a 68-ball 52. KL Rahul and Vijay Shankar chipped in with 30 and 29 respectively, as India scored 224/8 in their allotted 50 overs. For Afghanistan, Mohammad Nabi and Gulbadin Naib scalped 2 wickets each.
Afghanistan started their reply in a decent fashion, and their scorecard read 71/2 after 20 overs. Rahmat Shah was the batsman who held the Afghanistan innings together and scored 36 off 63 deliveries. Things slowly began to get tough for Afghanistan, as the Indian bowlers applied a lot of pressure. At the end of the 40th over, Afghanistan still needed 68 runs for victory.
The thrilling finish
And that was when Mohammad Nabi started playing some gorgeous shots. The match tilted back and forth, and the equation soon boiled down to 16 runs needed off the last over. Mohammed Shami had the ball in his hand, and Nabi was in great form. The first ball was smashed for four. That brought the equation down to 12 needed off 5 deliveries.
Shami came back well and bowled a dot ball, and Afghanistan now needed 12 runs off the last 4 deliveries. And, that was when Shami weaved his magic with the ball in hand. He bowled a full-length delivery to Nabi, and the Afghanistan batsman hit the ball straight to Hardik Pandya at Long On. The next ball was bowled straight at the stumps, and Aftab Alam missed the ball completely. Two in two….
And then, came that moment. The HAT-TRICK!
Shami bowled an excellent toe crushing yorker to Mujeeb ur Rahman, the batsman had no clue about it, and the ball crashed onto the stumps. Shami had completed a memorable hat trick and had held his nerve under pressure. Afghanistan was bowled out for a total of 213, and Shami’s mind-boggling bowling helped India win the encounter.
Yes, there would have been a lot of Indian hearts that would have been pounding, but Mohammed Shami calmed them down with his excellent bowling in the 50th over of the innings.