Mohammed Shami's last-over hattrick saved India from a mighty scare after they managed to pip Afghanistan by 11 runs to inch closer towards World Cup semi-finals, as brilliant death bowling compensated for an inexplicable batting display on Saturday.
Taking to his Instagram handle, Indian Cricket team captain Virat Kohli shared a few pictures of the team, especially with Mohammed Shami & MS Dhoni and wrote: "What A Victory 🇮🇳💪Tremendous effort by the boys. #CWC19"
Shami (9.5-1-40-4), playing his first match, not only successfully defended 16 runs off the last over but also dismissed the dangerous Mohammed Nabi (52 off 55 balls), Aftab Alam (0) and Mujeeb ur Rahman (0) off successive deliveries to complete the rare feat.
Afghanistan were bowled out for 213 in pursuit of a manageable 225 run target which at one stage looked gettable after the Indian middle-order flopped in their first World Cup test.
"This game was way more important for us, because things didn't go as planned. That's when you need to show character and bounce back," Kohli said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
Drafted into the playing eleven in place of injured Bhuvneswar Kumar, Shami Saturday became only the second Indian cricketer to register a hattrick in World Cup after Chetan Sharma, who achieved the feat in 1987. “The communication was to finish him off at 49th over so that Shami has enough runs to defend in the last over and yeah the plan worked really well today. Keeping Chahal back also worked. All in all, the bowling performance was outstanding. Everyone's waiting for an opportunity and I think Shami was really good today and especially his first spell, he was making the ball do more than anyone else today,” said Kohli in the post-match presentation.
Kohli, thus, was effusive in his praise for the speedster.
"Everyone's waiting for an opportunity. Shami was really good today. He was making the ball move more than anybody. We knew these guys were hungry," he said.
(With inputs from PTI)