This is Mohammad Shahzad's fifth ODI hundred - his first in three years
This is Mohammad Shahzad’s fifth ODI hundred – his first in three years

Afghanistan wicketkeeper batsman Mohammad Shahzad slammed a 88-ball hundred against India in their final Super Four match of the 2018 Asia Cup, making this Afghanistan’s first ODI hundred against a top flight opposition.

Shahzad, who had scored 53 off 81 balls in the previous match against Bangladesh, went berserk against the second-string India attack consisting Deepak Chahar, Khaleel Ahmed and Siddarth Kaul, hitting ten fours and six sixes at a strike-rate of 117. He went on to add 24 more runs in 28 deliveries before falling in the 38th over to Kedar Jadhav.

This was the wicketkeeper batsman’s fifth ODI hundred – his first in three years. The previous ones came against Netherlands (2009), Canada (2010), Scotland (2010) and Zimbabwe (2015).

The pot-bellied opener, who idolises MS Dhoni, started off with a streaky boundary off Khaleel towards third man in the first over before charging down to Chahar in the second. His first fifty came off 37 deliveries when the team’s score was 57. By the time he reached the 100, he had lost four partners, but got the landmark in 51 balls. He slowed in the 90s taking 15 deliveries the the triple figure mark from after he had moved to 87 to 93 with a six.

When Shahzad got to his hundred flicking to fine leg for a four off Chahar in the 29th over, the team’s total was 131 – the lowest team score when a batsman has scored an ODI hundred.

This is also Afghanistan’s first hundred after attaining the full member status in June, 2017 and that too against the No.1 ranked team, India, and seven-time Asia cup winners.

Shahzad was the first Afghanistan player to score a ODI hundred when he made 110 against Netherlands at Amstelveen in 2009 and is the player with most hundreds for Afghanistan with five. Second is Rahmat Shah with three followed by Karim Sadiq (2) and Nawroz Mangal (2).

Shahzad was eventually out for 124, registering his second highest indivdual score in the ODIs.