DUBAI - Brilliant bowling by Rashid Khan and superb hundred by Mohammad Shahzad helped Afghanistan pull off a last-over tie against India in the Asia Cup Super Four match in Dubai on Tuesday.

Shahzad's 124 laid the foundation of Afghanistan's fighting total of 252-8 in 50 overs before bowling out India in 49.5 overs for the same total at Dubai stadium. Needing seven to win off the final Rashid Khan over, Ravindra Jadeja hit a boundary off the second ball before taking a single off the next. Last man Khaleel Ahmed then took a single but Jadeja holed out off the fifth to give Afghanistan a morale-boosting tie with the defending champions.

India rested five top players -- skipper Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar -- as they had already qualified for Friday's final. The winner of Wednesday's match between Pakistan and Bangladesh will meet India in the final in Dubai. India were helped to 110 by openers Lokendra Rahul (60) and Ambati Rayudu (57) and at 166-3 they looked on course for an easy win but Afghanistan pulled back through key wickets.

Rahul hit five boundaries and a six in his 66-ball knock while Rayudu's 49-ball innings had four sixes and as many boundaries. Dinesh Karthik made 44 and Jadeja scored 25 to bring India closer but India could not cross the finish line. Spinners Rashid and Mohammad Nabi, and paceman Aftab Alam finished with two wickets apiece.

Despite crashing out with two defeats Afghanistan can hold their heads high as they beat Sri Lanka and Bangldesh in the first round and only lost to Pakistan in the final over. Earlier, Shahzad knocked a fighting hundred and Mohammad Nabi scored 56-ball 64 to lift Afghanistan after they won the toss.

The 31-year-old Shazad smashed seven sixes and 11 fours in his 116-ball 124 -- his fifth one-day century but first against a top nation. So dominant was Shahzad that fellow opener Javed Ahmadi was only five in a stand of 65, before India struck four times within the space of 17 runs. Left-arm spinners Jadeja (3-46) and Kuldeep Yadav (2-38) derailed the innings but Shahzad held one end, adding 50 for the fifth wicket with Gulbadin Naib who made 15 and another 48 for the sixth with Mohammad Nabi. Shahzad was finally out in the 38th over but by then had given a good platform to his team.

After the match, Afghanistan captain Asghar Afghan said: “Today's wicket was good for us because it was a spinning wicket, especially for Shahzad. Our spinners were good. Yeah when you tie with a team like India, it's like winning. They usually chase easily. It is good for the fans as well. On this type of track, Shahzad played very positive cricket. What we saw today was the real Shahzad, unfortunately it came in the last match.

Man of the match M Shahzad said: "Actually, I'm not happy with the result: hot weather, playing in the ground for six hours, it's not fair. I had planned to hit every ball today because we are leaving tomorrow. So I saw the ball, and hit it today. Feeling proud to have played against some good teams of Asia, so happy with my innings.

The main game for me is to perform well with the bat. Cheers."

MS Dhoni said: “I think their cricket has gone up a lot. If you see how they've continued playing right from the start of the Cup, it's been commendable. They're the one country that has risen through the ranks. Good batting by them - how they fielded, how they bowled was impressive. I wouldn't say we went wrong. It was like a game of golf because we started with a handicap, we rested our main players.

“It was very important for the fast bowlers to fall back to the back of a length area when there was no swing full. We lost 5-6 overs there. Shot selection is also something we could have done better at as well. And there were a couple of run-out and there are a couple of things I don't want to talk about because I don't want to get fined. A tie isn't bad for is, we could have been on the losing side,” he added.



M Shahzad c Karthik b Jadhav 124

Javed Ahmadi st Dhoni b Jadeja 5

Rahmat Shah b Jadeja 3

Hashmatullah st Dhoni b K Yadav 0

Asghar Afghan b Kuldeep Yadav 0

Gulbadin Naib c Jadhav b Chahar 15

M Nabi c Kuldeep Yadav b Ahmed 64

Najibullah Zadran lbw b Jadeja 20

Rashid Khan not out 12

Aftab Alam not out 2

EXTRAS: (lb 1, nb 1, w 5) 7

TOTAL: (8 wkts, 50 overs) 252

FOW: 1-65, 2-81, 3-82, 4-82, 5-132, 6-180, 7-226, 8-244.

BOWLING: KK Ahmed 10-1-45-1, DL Chahar 4-0-37-1, S Kaul 9-0-58-0, RA Jadeja 10-1-46-3, Kuldeep Yadav 10-0-38-2, KM Jadhav 7-0-27-1.


K Rahul lbw b Rashid 60

A Rayudu c Zadran b Nabi 57

D Karthik lbw b Nabi 44

M Dhoni lbw b Ahmadi 8

M Pandey c Shahzad b Alam 8

K Jadhav run out 19

R Jadeja c Zadran b Rashid 25

D Chahar b Alam 12

K Yadav run out 9

S Kaul run out 0

Khaleel Ahmed not out 1

EXTRAS: (lb 5, nb 1, w 3) 9

TOTAL: (all out; 50 overs) 252

FOW: 1-110, 2-127, 3-142, 4-166, 5-204, 6-205, 7-226, 8-242, 9-245.

BOWLING: Alam 10-0-53-2 (1nb), Mujeeb 10-1-43-0 (1w), Naib 4-0-41-0, Nabi 10-0-40-2 (1w), Rashid 10-0-41-2 (1w), Ahmadi 4-0-19-1, Shah 2-0-10-0.

TOSS: Afghanistan

UMPIRES: Gregory Brathwaite (WIS) and Anis ur Rahman (BAN)

TV UMPIRE: Rod Tucker (AUS)


TOSS: Afghanistan

UMPIRES: Gregory Brathwaite, Anisur Rahman

TV UMPIRES: Rod Tucker

RESERVE UMPIRE: Ruchira Palliyaguruge