Under-19 Asia Cup: India beat Afghanistan, qualify for semi-finals
India claimed a four-wicket win over Afghanistan to qualify for the Under-19 Asia Cup semi-final on Monday. They chased down 260, with Raj Bawa and Kaushal Tambe getting them home. A 65-run knock by Harnoor Singh laid the foundation of India's victory. India are back to winning ways after losing to Pakistan, who are the other semi-finalists from Group A.
- It was a do-or-die Group A encounter for both India and Afghanistan.
- While Pakistan had sealed their semis berth with six points, India and Afghanistan were tied on two.
- The United Arab Emirates (UAE) were out of the race, having lost all three encounters.
- India and Pakistan are the two semi-finalists of the Under-19 Asia Cup from Group A.
Afghanistan had a sluggish start after India elected to field. The top three powered Afghanistan past 100 before skipper Suliman Safi and Ijaz Ahmad Ahmadzai took over (added 88 runs). Khaiber Wali, along with Ahmadzai took Afghanistan to 259/4. Indian openers Angkrish Raghuvanshi and Harnoor shared a century stand. Although India were reduced to 197/6, Bawa and Tambe ensured them a safe passage.
Indian opener Harnoor Singh has been on a roll of late. He was India's top-scorer against Afghanistan, having smashed 65 off 74 balls (9 fours). The right-handed batter has now registered four 50+ scores in his last six ODIs (Under-19). His scores read as - 65, 46, 120, 8, 111, and 72. Harnoon is the leading run-scorer of the U-19 Asia Cup so far.
India, who were cruising on 104/1 at one stage, were reduced to 197/6 in the 38th over. However, Raj Bawa (43*) and Kaushal Tambe (35*) worked in tandem to secure a well-deserved win for Team India. Both players batted patiently.
Afghanistan chinaman Noor Ahmad emerged as the standout bowler. He mowed down India's top order. Ahmad also got rid of Indian captain Yash Dhull. The 16-year-old recorded figures of 4/43. Meanwhile, Bilal Sami and Khalel Ahmad took a wicket each. For India, the likes of Rajvardhan Hangargekar, Bawa, Vicky Ostwal, and Tambe took a wicket apiece. Notably, Tambe's economy rate read 3.10.