Top shots and clumsy drops
The shot I
Mohammad Shahzad, the stocky Afghanistan wicketkeeper and an MS Dhoni fan, had promised in an interview before this game to play the helicopter shot. He got injured while keeping wicket, he did not last long with the bat, but he proved true to his word. In the third over of the chase, he stayed in the crease to a full Zaheer Khan delivery and helicopter-whipped it through square leg, stopping his follow through halfway and holding it for effect, delight clearly visible in his expression.
The shot II
India were two down for not many when Yuvraj Singh walked in, five years to the evening that he had swung Stuart Broad for six successive sixes in Durban. Shapoor Zadran, the left-arm fast bowler had dismissed both Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir and was charging in. After three dot balls, Yuvraj released the pressure with a vintage hit, easing forward and launching a length delivery for a straight six with a follow through that oozed elegance as well as power.
The moment I
India had just lost their third wicket, Yuvraj, in the previous over, when Suresh Raina spooned a simple chance to the bowler Mohammad Nabi in the 12th over. Nabi put it down and Afghanistan lost their first chance to extend the pressure on India, who at the time were 73 for 3.
The moment II
In the very next over Virat Kohli, who was chiefly responsible for lifting India out of their initial stupor, swung Karim Sadiq straight to wide long-on, where Samiullah Shenwari fluffed another straightforward catch. Sadiq sank to the ground, hands on head. India could have been five down had both the chances been held. Given how close Afghanistan came in the chase, who knows what could have been.
It has become a regular occurrence and now a running joke. Gautam Gambhir pokes outside off, Gautam Gambhir falls. The mode may differ, outside edge to slip, outside edge to the wicketkeeper, or, as it happened today, inside edge onto the stumps, but the result is the same. England will be waiting, for the group game as well as for the upcoming Test series.
Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo