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Pakistan beat Afghanistan to reach ACC Under-19 Asia Cup semi-finals

Pakistan beat Afghanistan to reach ACC Under-19 Asia Cup semi-finals
December 12, 2023 Web Desk

DUBAI (92 News) - Pakistan stormed into the semi-finals of ACC Under-19 Asia Cup 2023 riding on a three-match winning streak.

After beating Nepal and India earlier in the tournament, Pakistan defeated Afghanistan by 83 runs at the ICC Cricket Academy Ground in Dubai.

The Saad Baig-led side posted 303 in the first innings, on the back of half-centuries by Shamyl Hussain, Shahzaib Khan and Riazullah Khan. In turn, Afghanistan were bowled out for 220.

After being invited to bat first, Pakistan opening batters Shamyl and Shahzaib stitched a masterful partnership that yielded 115 runs. Shamyl took charge from the get-go, hitting 75 from 54 and showcasing seven boundaries and five maximums, to put pressure on the opposition.

Afghanistan Under-19 captain Naseer Khan Maroofkhil trapped Shamyl LBW to break the partnership. He struck again soon after to take Mohammad Tayyab Arif out the same way. At the halfway mark, Pakistan U19 were 154-2 with Shahzaib and Riazullah on the crease. The two batted together to add 76 runs more to the total.

Shahzaib was the next batter to walk back to the pavilion, when he was caught off Faridoon Dawoodzai’s bowling after scoring 79 from 95, including nine fours and a six. In his subsequent over, Dawoodzai also removed Arafat Minhas. Shortly after, right-arm pacer Khalel Ahmed struck on two consecutive deliveries to dismiss Saad and Mohammad Zeeshan.

Azan Awais, who had an unbeaten century in the previous game, joined Riazullah on the crease. He scored 20 from 19, including three boundaries, before he fell to Dawoodzai for the latter’s third wicket of the day.

Riazullah was the third Pakistan batter to get a half-century (73, 69b, 5x4s, 2x6s) in the innings, ensuring that the team were in a position to put up a solid total, before he got out to left-arm seamer Bashir Ahmad in the 46th over. He took two more wickets in his next over to bowl out Pakistan for 303 in 48 overs.

Right-arm fast Khubaib Khalil, playing his first game of the tournament, landed an early blow on Afghanistan U19 as he took out Khalid Taniwal in just the fourth over.

His fellow quick, Ubaid Shah, struck on the third ball of his spell to remove Jamshid Zadran. On the last delivery of the following over, Wafiullah Tarakhil (32, 34b,6x4s) fell victim to Khubaib, after hitting four boundaries on the trot. Afghanistan Under-19 were reduced to 52-3 at the end of the first powerplay. Ubaid inflicted further damage on the Afghanistan batting when he rattled the stumps to send Sohil Khan back to the pavilion.

Numan Shah was the top-scorer for Afghanistan U19, hitting a fighting half-century (54, 78b, 4x4s, 1x6) to keep his team alive in the game. He eventually fell to Ubaid, who completed a three-wicket haul.

Maroofkhil also chipped in with 26 from 61 including a boundary, before he was caught off Tayyab’s bowling. Two subsequent batters, Allah Ghazanfar and Khaleel Ahmed, also fell to Tayyab shortly after. Shamyl picked up the last wicket as Dawoodzai (32, 41b, 2x4s, 1x6) was caught by Shahzaib to end the Afghanistan U19 batting, awarding Pakistan Under-19 a victory by 83 runs.

Both semi-finals of the ACC Asia Cup are scheduled to take place at 1030 PKT on December 15.

Scores in brief:

Pakistan Under-19 beat Afghanistan Under-19 by 83 runs

Pakistan U19 303 all out, 48 overs (Shahzaib Khan 79, Shamyl Hussain 75, Riazullah Khan 73; Faridoon Dawoodzai 3-49, Bashir Ahmad 3-51, Naseer Khan Maroofkhil 2-44, Khalel Ahmad 2-69).

Afghanistan U19 220 all out, 48.4 overs (Numan Shah 54, Faridoon Dawoodzai 32, Naseer Khan Maroofkhil 26; Ubaid Shah 3-19, Tayyab Arif 3-51, Khubaib Khalil 2-45, Shamyl Hussain 1-8, Amir Hassan 1-29)

Player of the match – Shamyl Hussain (Pakistan U19).