Pakistan sealed a scintillating three-run win over archrivals India to reach the final of the ACC Emerging Teams Asia Cup at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.
Needing eight runs to win in the last over to eclipse Pakistan’s 267 for seven, India were denied a place in the final by Pakistani pacer Amad Butt, who conceded just four runs and picked up a wicket to restrict their opponents to 264 for eight after 50 overs.
India had made a steady start with skipper BR Sharath scoring 47 off 43 balls with the help of six fours and a six. Sanvir Singh then paired up with Armaan Jaffer and added 83 runs for the third wicket and at one point India were cruising on 179 for two, eyeing an easy win.
But since top scorer Sanvir was run out for 76 off 90 balls with five fours and a six and Armaan also departed for 46, the chase started to unravel.
Pakistan’s bowlers kept mounting the pressure and picked wickets at regular intervals. Chinmay Sutar’s unbeaten 28 off 37 balls was not enough at the end as some fine death-overs bowling denied India to clinch a win in the end. Mohammad Hasnain and Saif Badar picked up two wickets each for Pakistan.
Earlier, Pakistan too made a solid start after electing to bat. Omair Yousuf and Haider Ali added 90 for the first wicket. Haider was dismissed after scoring 44 while Omair top-scored with 66 off 97 balls with three fours and two sixes.
Pakistan’s batsmen made valuable contributions in the middle order, with skipper Rohail Nazir adding 35 and Saif Badar remaining unbeaten on 47 off 48 balls with one four and a six to help post a fighting total. Shivam Mavi, Saurabh Dubey and Hrithik Shokeen picked up two wickets each for India.
Pakistan will take on the winners of today’s second semifinal between hosts Bangladesh and Afghanistan. The final is scheduled for November 23 at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur.