World Cup 2019: How Shami, Bumrah denied Afghanistan a fairytale finish

Mohammad Shami and Jasprit Bumrah bowled with pace and intent to deny Afghanistan a historic triumph in World Cup 2019.

Shami became only the second Indian bowler after Chetan Sharma to bag a World Cup hat-trick.   -  getty images

Three overs into Afghanistan's run-chase on Saturday, Mohammad Shami bowled a length delivery that climbed off the deck and beat the outside edge of Hazratullah Zazai. M.S. Dhoni collected the ball but not before taking a tumble behind the stumps.

Two balls later, Shami seemed to have caught Zazai right in front, with a fuller delivery this time, but replays showed the ball pitching outside line. The left-hander's struggles against Shami finally came to an end in the third ball of the sixth over, when Zazai swung for the mid-wicket fence only for Shami's full delivery to clatter into the stumps.

As it happened| Scorecard

This was a rejuvenated Shami -- leaner and meaner -- bouncing batsmen, trying to get them bowled, yorking them if necessary; not taking the foot off the pedal. His fiery spell reached a crescendo in the final over amid Mohammad Nabi's valiant persuit of history, for Afghanistan.

Shami, playing his first match this World Cup, dished out three inch-perfect yorkers to become only the second Indian bowler after Chetan Sharma to bag a hat-trick in the quadrennial event. Searing accuracy and fiery pace were the hallmarks of a spell during which the 28-year-old wreaked the opposition line-up with four wickets.

REPORT| Shami hat-trick powers India to victory

If Afghanistan found Shami hard to handle, they had another thing coming in Jasprit Bumrah. "He (Bumrah) is the bowler who can do the damage at any stage of the innings and the opposition knows that as well," Virat Kohli had said in the post match presentation.

Bumrah, with his unerring line and length, did just that. Rahmat Shah and Hashmatullah Shahidi were threatening to take the match away from India when, coming into bowl in the 29th over, Bumrah removed both batsmen in the space of just three deliveries to bring Kohli and Co. back in the contest.

However, Nabi's never-say-die spirit saw Afghanistan arrive within 21 runs of a major World Cup upset. "The communication was to finish Bumrah off at 49th over so that Shami has enough runs to defend in the last over," Kohli revealed later.

Bumrah reposed the faith shown in him -- full, full, yorker, full toss, full and yorker the sequence of lengths bowled as the batsmen managed to squeeze out just five off his last over.