Afghanistan were involved in their first Test match in 2018 against India at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. Though the Test match was supposed to be a five-day affair from June 14 to June 18, India completely bullied the visitors to finish the game within two days. The hosts went on to register their then biggest Test victory which now remains the second-highest in the Indian Test history.
It was a colossal defeat for Afghanistan, by an innings and 262 runs. However, the visitors gave a glimpse of their potential and character in the last innings as they tried their best to control the damage. The historic Test fixture commenced with home captain Ajinkya Rahane winning the toss and electing to bat first.
It rained runs for the Indian batters at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium as they made a mockery of Afghanistan’s bowling unit. The opening duo of Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan started the Test match on a dream note. Both the openers were at their fluent best as they smashed a century each. While Vijay scored 105 runs off 153 deliveries, Dhawan came with a completely different mindset as he smashed 107 runs in just 96 balls.
The finishing touches to the Indian innings were applied by all-rounder Hardik Pandya as he played a blistering knock of 71 runs off 94 balls. KL Rahul was also decent with the willow with a knock of 54 off 64. Thus, India posted a mammoth total of 474 runs in the first innings.
The second innings saw Afghanistan’s batting line-up crumbling like a pack of cards. Ravi Ashwin was the wrecker-in-chief for the Indian bowling line-up as he picked as many as four wickets. Ravindra Jadeja and Ishant Sharma had two each while Umesh Yadav was also successful in picking up one wicket.
With only 109 runs on the scoreboard in their first batting innings, Afghanistan was asked to follow on. The visitors’ second batting innings was almost a repeat telecast of their first one as they lost all their ten wickets while scoring just 103 runs. Though Hashmullah Shahidi tried to bring life to an otherwise dead match, he didn’t receive any support from other batsmen and remained not out at 36.
Though India registered their second-highest Test victory, the game is best remembered for the adorable gesture of Indian skipper Rahane towards the Afghanistan side. While posing with the trophy, Rahane invited the visitors too for the picture as a memory of their first match in the purest format.