Spinners Mohammad Nabi and Rashid Khan claimed two wickets each as Afghanistan pulled off a thrilling last-ball tie against India in a 2018 Asia Cup Super Four match in Dubai on Wednesday. (HIGHLIGHTS)
Earlier, Mohammad Shahzad slammed the most significant hundred of his career to take Afghanistan to 252 for eight, lightening up the dead 'Super Four' rubber. (SCORECARD)
Asia Cup 2018, India vs Afghanistan, Twitter Reactions: 'Captain Cool MS Dhoni is tied to India's fortunes'
While the other batsmen struggled, it seemed the unconventional Shahzad was batting on a different surface, hammering 11 fours and as many as seven sixes.
Later, the experienced Mohammad Nabi produced a handy knock, 64 off 56 balls, to ensure that Afghanistan put up a competitive total.
The undisputed star of the evening was wicket-keeper batsman Shahzad, who was no short of inspiration in the middle with his role model M S Dhoni standing behind the stumps.
While his opening partner Javed Ahmadi was even struggling to get a single, Shazad thoroughly entertained the crowd with a barrage of big hits. He was ruthless especially against the rookie Indian pacers Khaleel Ahmed, Siddharth Kaul and debutant Deepak Chahar, who were played in place of the rested Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Yuzvendar Chahal.
Chahar had a forgettable debut even though he picked up a wicket.
The other Indian players rested for the game were captain Rohit Sharma and his opening partner Shikhar Dhawan. Lokesh Rahul and Manish Pandey replaced them in the eleven and as fate would have it, Dhoni stepped on the field to captain India for the 200th time.
The pacers were guilty of bowling too full or too full and Shazad made them pay for their mistakes. Most of his lofty shots were crossed-batted as he cleared his front foot to hit the huge sixes over deep mid-wicket.
He even had his luck on his side as he was dropped at mid-off on way to completing a half century. He surprisingly experienced the nervous 90s before finally reaching the three figures for the fifth time in ODIs, with a flick off Chahar towards the fine-leg boundary.
It was not a full-strength Indian bowling attack but that takes nothing away from Shazad's sensational effort. His other ODI hundreds had come against Canada, Zimbabwe, Scotland and Netherlands.
Afghanistan would have been in deep trouble if it was not for Shazad, who was running out of partners at one stage with his team reeling at 82 for four from 65 for no loss after Indian spinners Kuldeep Yadav (2/38) and Ravindra Jadeja (3/46) came into play. The chinaman was even on a hat-trick.
Shahzad was then joined by Gulbadin Naib (15 off 46) and the two shared a 50-run stand for the fifth wicket.
After his dismissal, Nabi started plundering the bowlers, hitting four sixes and three boundaries to take help the team cross 250.
(With PTI inputs)