Chants for Virat Kohli, the local boy, emanating from one stand reverberated in the Arun Jaitley Stadium towards the end of Afghanistan innings as Naveen-ul-Haq, who had a major on-field tiff with the India star during an Indian Premier League match this year, played and missed a few balls from the India bowlers.
The pacer, batting in the end, was trying to fetch some crucial runs for Afghanistan, who had done well but not enough to make them favourites against a strong Indian batting line-up in both sides’ second game of the World Cup at the Ferozeshah Kotla ground on Wednesday.
Afghanistan ended their innings at 272/8 in 50 overs, something they would take considering they were reduced to 63/3 in the 14th over. However, they will still be disappointed for not crossing 300 after a 121-run partnership for the fourth wicket between Azmatullah Omarzai (62) and Hashmatullah Shahidi (80) had set them on track for a challenging score.
The Afghanistan batsmen picked up pace, scoring the second 100 at over six an over when the first 100 had been reached at just over four an over.
Driving the score was Omarzai’s level of comfort against Indian spinners. He hit Kuldeep Yadav for three sixes and Ravindra Jadeja for one.
When Omarzai was dismissed with the team’s score at 184, Afghanistan still had 94 deliveries to play and 120-odd was expected.
But the Indian bowlers, barring Mohammad Siraj who went for 76 in his nine overs, kept taking wickets to peg back the Afghans.
Jasprit Bumrah took four wickets, one at the start and three towards the end, for just 39 runs to keep the opposition in check.
Yadav (1/40), Hardik Pandya (2/43 off 7) and Shardul Thakur (1/30 off 6) were also among wickets.