Asia Cup 2018, India vs Afghanistan, Highlights: Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s comeback as skipper, albeit for a game ended in a thrilling tie against a resurgent Afghanistan in their final Super Four match of the Asia Cup at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Tuesday. Chasing a competitive 253, the defending champions got off to a flier from the new opening pair of Lokesh Rahul (60 off 66 balls; 4X5, 6X1) and Ambati Rayudu (57 off 49; 4X4, 6X4) before a mini collapse, coupled with a few run-outs and umpiring errors, eventually resulted in a tie.
Needing 7 off the final over, Ravindra Jadeja (25 off 34; 4X1) struck a boundary on the second ball off leg-spinner Rashid Khan before taking two singles with last man Khaleel Ahmed in the company.
With 1 needed off the final two balls, Jadeja pulled the fifth delivery — a shorter one towards midwicket only to find Najibullah running in from deep to grab it with both hands and help Afghanistan bow out of the tournament with their head held high.
Earlier, replacing the regular pair of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan, Rahul and Rayudu got India to a 110-run opening stand before Mohammed Nabi managed to draw first blood with the wicket of Rayudu. Rashid then joined the party by removing Rahul before Dinesh Karthik’s (44 off 66; 4X4) sedate knock stabilised things for the Men-in-Blue.
Karthik, however failed to get adequate support from the other end as Dhoni (8), Manish Pandey (8) and Kedar Jadhav (19) fell in quick succession before an umpiring blunder sent the Tamil Nadu stumper back in the hut.
Towards the end, Jadeja played a lone hand even as the bowlers — Deepak Chahar (12), Kuldeep Yadav (9) and Siddharth Kaul (0) — could hardly lend any support to the southpaw.
For the Afghans, pacer Aftab Alam and spin duo of Nabi and Rashid picked two wickets each while Javed Ahmadi picked one.