WORLD CUP: Shami’s hat-trick prevents Afghanistan upset
Mohammed Shami’s hat-trick denied Afghanistan a historic and shock World Cup victory over India in Southampton.
India looked in danger of losing when Afghanistan struck a boundary off the first ball of the final over to move to within 12 runs of victory.
However, Shami had Mohammad Nabi caught on the boundary for 52 before demolishing the stumps of numbers 10 and 11 with searing yorkers. Defeat eliminates Afghanistan, while India move above England into third.
India had earlier posted 224-8, with Virat Kohli top-scoring with 67 on a slow pitch.
Afghanistan, who had never beaten India and whose only previous World Cup win was against Scotland in 2015, gamely worked their way towards victory but were heavily reliant on Nabi after a middle order wobble saw them fall from 106-2 to 166-6.
Nabi successfully overturned an lbw decision in the 48th over and managed to take his side to within two blows of victory before Shami’s thrilling intervention.
“You can see what it has meant to the Indian players,” said former England captain Alec Stewart on Test Match Special.
“They were odds-on favourites by a country mile. Going into the last over we didn’t know who was going to win.
“As the last wicket fell all of their players came together. What a game of cricket.” (BBC Sport)