Pakistan U-23s v Sri Lanka U-23s, semi-final, ACC Emerging Teams Cup August 23, 2013

Azam, Qadir take Pakistan to final

ESPNcricinfo staff

Pakistan Under-23s 232 for 9 (Hammad Azam 66*, Aponso 3-31) beat Sri Lanka Under-23s 230 for 7 (Jayasundera 94, Qadir 5-32) by 1 wicket
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Pakistan Under-23s pulled off a thrilling one-wicket win against Sri Lanka Under-23s to set up a title clash against India on Sunday in the ACC Emerging Teams Cup in Singapore.

Set a target of 231 for victory, Pakistan had a bad start, losing Babar Azam off the first ball of the innings. The teams were evenly matched for most part of the chase as Sri Lanka struck with quick wickets right after the Pakistan batsmen had managed to get a partnership going. A fifth-wicket stand between Usman Salahuddin and Mohammad Nawaz, worth 57 runs, steadied the chase, after they were 61 for 4 in the 16th over, but Sri Lanka fought back with three quick wickets, dismissing Nawaz, Salahuddin and Raza Hassan.

The chase came to rest on Hammad Azam, who batted well with the lower order. He took his time settling down when Bilawal Bhatti hit a quickfire 21-ball 25, but assumed charge of the innings once Bhatti and Usman Qadir were out with the score at 200 for 9. With Pakistan needing 30 off 48 balls, Azam began taking most of the strike and hit regular boundaries to keep the side in with a chance.

With 13 required off the last two overs, Azam finished the match in the 49th over, scoring the winning runs with a six over fine leg. He finished on unbeaten on 66 off 69 balls with two fours and three sixes.

Earlier, legspinner Usman Qadir's five-wicket haul helped rein in Sri Lanka after the openers had given them a strong start. Udara Jayasundera and Shehan Jayasuriya added 81 in 14.4 overs, their third fifty-plus opening stand in the tournament, to give Sri Lanka a good start after they chose to bat. Qadir had success soon after being introduced in the 13th over, taking a simple return catch off Jayasuriya. He dried up the runs with some tight bowling and dismissed Kithuruwan Vithanage and Niroshan Dickwell to finish his first spell with figures of 7-2-19-3.

Jayasundera's fifty and a 48-run stand with Rumesh Buddika for the fifth wicket, helped steady the Sri Lankan innings. Once the pair was out, the lower order, led by Charith Jayampathi scored quick runs to take the side to 230 for 7.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Kirit on August 25, 2013, 8:56 GMT

    Too early to to about this team, they struggle with India, Shrilanka and particular with Afghanistan!! Not sure about Cricket_Man comments. Like the Hammad Azam but he have to go long way. Don't push him up and the through on floor. JUST WATCH how he take the pressure game by game.

  • Mohammad on August 24, 2013, 16:01 GMT

    I liked Hammad Azam from the day he started to play for Pakistan under 19.He should be given regular chances so that he can make himself a proper all rounder.

  • Avais on August 24, 2013, 13:12 GMT

    Hammad is not an all rounder, he is not a bowler of any substance, he even did not let bowl himself in this important game and bowled very little even against the weaker opponents. He scores some runs once after two-three years. He has to prove a lot more for any consideration. He is the most over-rated players in Pakistan for a long time. He played a good innings at under 19 level three years a go and some people wants to be the captain of Pakistan team just for that.

  • ihsan on August 24, 2013, 6:03 GMT

    A very compact player with solid defence but need attention of the Pak. selector at top of the order with continuity.

  • Faizan on August 24, 2013, 4:51 GMT

    I think Hammad Azam has all the potential to become an all-rounder. However, I think his talent is being wasted by sending him wrongly in lower middle order. He is not someone like Razzaq who can come lower down the order and bash every ball. He is more like a Michael Hussey or Bevan kind of a player who saves the team with his technically correct batting, occasionally going for the big sixes. Therefore, i think the ideal position for him is no.6 (4 down). Plus If he works on his line and length, bowl like Darren Sammy, then he can easily provide great services to Pakistan for about 10 years. By the way. the final should be aired on TV.

  • ali asghar on August 24, 2013, 0:44 GMT

    Well Hammad Azam is the replacement for Mr. Shoiab Malik, Like Umer Akmal been provided plenty of opportunities based on his proven talent why not same for Hammad? He is a great finisher which he has proved time and again. I can see in him a bit of Mike Hussy grit. Consistent international exposure will give him confidence and if being ignored for longer time that will destroy his confidence. Please wake up PCB selectors, 2015 WC isn't faraway.

  • Qaasim on August 23, 2013, 16:31 GMT

    Fantastic innings by Hammad Azam under great pressure that to in a semi-final and also the way he worked around the tail was fantastic. Hats off to Ehsan Adil for sticking around. Usman Qadir proved a lot of doubters wrong by putting forth a quailty performance.

    Hopefully the batsman will perform much much better in the final. Azeem Ghumman should be dropped for Umar Siddique.

    And I have followed Babar Azam's career for a long time he has a good technique very talented, can pace his innings, has a variety of shots but his downfall is inconsistenty between innings e.g the Nepal and Sri-Lanka games are examples of this problem but In Shaa Allah he will iron this problem out soon.

    Best of luch GREEN (YOUNGSTERS) TEAM In Shaa Allah you will win.

  • Android on August 23, 2013, 16:14 GMT

    look out for chand... he always plays well in finals!