Dubai: The India-Afghanistan Super Four match in the ongoing Asia Cup came to a nail-biting finish, ending up in a draw, owing to Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan’s brilliant last over.
Needing just seven runs off the final over, the Indian team scored six runs off the first four balls to level the score. But on the fifth ball, Khan got the better of Indian all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja and bowled the Men in Blue for 252.
The match was the 36th tie in 4046 ODIs.
India began on a positive note with openers KL Rahul (60) and Ambati Rayudu (57) scoring brilliant fifties. The duo added 110 runs to the opening wicket partnership.
After the departure of Rahul and Rayudu, India kept losing wickets in quick succession. MS Dhoni, who was playing his 200th ODI as a captain, got out LBW on 8 runs off Javed Ahmadi. However, the replay showed that the ball was missing the leg stump.
With the Indian team falling short of a review after the unsuccessful challenge by Rahul, the stand-in skipper had to go back to the pavilion.
Afghanistan’s Aftab Alam got rid of Manish Pandey, who scored 8 runs off 15 balls.
Kedhar Jadhav got run out for 19 runs, followed by Dinesh Karthik (44), who was dismissed by Afghanistan all-rounder Mohammad Nabi in the 40th over.
Aftab Alam cleaned up Deepak Chahar (12 off 14 balls) in the 45th over, while Kuldeep Yadav (9) and Siddarth Kaul (0) got run out in the 49th over.
Opener Mohammad Shahzad (124 off 116 balls) and Nabi (64 off 56 balls) were the top performers for Afghanistan, who helped post a competitive total of 252 for the loss of 8 wickets.
Jadeja (3/46) and left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav (2/38) bowled exceptionally well in the middle overs and helped the Indian side pull things back well.
India have already booked their place in the finals of the tournament, while Afghanistan were eliminated after losing their last match against Bangladesh.
India will face either Pakistan or Bangladesh in the final of the Asia Cup on September 28.