Pakistan saw off traditional rivals India by three runs in a nail-biting first semifinal of ACC Emerging Teams Asia Cup 2019 in Dhaka on Wednesday. According to information provided by Asian Cricket Council, electing to bat first after winning the toss Pakistan scored 267 for the loss of seven wickets. Openers Haider Ali (43 off 60 balls) and Omair Bin Yousuf (66 off 97 balls) provided a solid start to Pakistan innings as they added 90 for the first-wicket.
Haider’s innings included five fours and a six, while Omair hit three fours and two sixes. After the departure of the openers, captain Rohail Nazir coming to bat at number three got off to a start, but fell after scoring 35 off 41 balls, hitting two fours and a six. Saif Badar down the order scored an unbeaten 48-ball 47 which included a four and a six. For India, Hrithik Shokeen, Saurabh Dubey and Shivam Mavi took two wickets apiece.
In reply, India managed 264 for the loss of eight wickets in 50 overs. India at one point were cruising towards victory requiring 57 runs with seven wickets in hand in13 overs, but back-to-back wickets of Yash Rathod (13) and Armaan Jaffer (46) on the score of 211 put breaks to the batting line. Sanvir Singh top-scored with a 90-ball 76 which included five fours and a six. Pakistan’s right-arm pacer Amad Butt bowled superbly in the death overs as he gave away just four runs in the 50th over of India’s innings and ended-up with match figures of one for 43 in 10 overs.
Mohammad Hasnain and Saif Badar chipped in with two wickets apiece for 61 and 57 runs, respectively. Pakistan will face Afghanistan or Bangladesh in the final of the tournament to be played on November 23. Afghanistan and Bangladesh will feature in the second semifinal of the tournament on Thursday. Score in brief: Pakistan 267-7, 50 overs (Omair Bin Yousuf 66, Saif Badar 47 not out, Haider Ali 43, Rohail Nazir 35; Hrithik Shokeen 2-59, Saurabh Dubey 2-60, Shivam Mavi 2-53) India 264-8, 50 overs (Sanvir Singh 76, B Ravi Sharath 47, Armaan Jaffer 46, Chinmay Sutar 28 not out; Amad Butt 1-43, Mohammad Hasnain 2-61, Saif Badar 2-57)
“I tried keeping the team’s spirits high with my experience,” the head coach Ijaz Ahmed said. “The victory is a result of the splendid team work by the young boys,” he added.
The game seemed to be getting out of hand from the youngsters but they went on and defeated the opposite side.
“At some point in the game we felt like it was getting out of hand but the team did not lose hope and fought till the end,” Ahmed said.
“Saif Badar, Omair bin Yousuf and Haider Ali performed extraordinarily.”The coach is enthusiastic for the final and hopes to win the cup for Pakistan.
“The team will try to keep up the momentum, win the final and bring the trophy home,” he noted. Badar scored an unbeaten 47, while Yousuf scored a whopping 66 and Haider scored 43. Pakistan scored a total of 267 runs with seven players sent back to the pavilion and managed to restrict India to 264 for eight in the 50 overs.—APP