Under-19 Asia Cup 2013-14 December 31, 2013

Pakistan U-19s hold their nerve to win thriller

ESPNcricinfo staff

Led by a century from their captain Sami Aslam and a fifty from Kamran Ghulam, Pakistan Under-19s held their nerve to secure a two-wicket win over India Under-19s. The win puts them on top of Group A, sealing a spot in the semi-finals. Faced with a target of 251, Aslam kept the chase under control with a well-paced 108 off 119 balls. Once he fell, Ghulam took over, guiding the lower order even as India pulled back with wickets. Two wickets in the 49th and 50th over put some pressure on Pakistan, who were seeking six runs off the last over, but Zafar Gohar hit two fours to seal the victory.

Earlier, Ricky Bhui's 64 helped India post 250 for 7 after regular strikes from the Pakistan bowlers prevented India's top-order from making good on their starts. Bhui's knock off 66 balls with three fours and two sixes.

Riding on a hundred from Kusal Mendis and an unbeaten 62 from Priyamal Perera, Sri Lanka Under-19s stumbled to a two-wicket win over Bangladesh Under-19s in Abu Dhabi. The win helped them qualify for the semi-finals where they will play India. Set a target of 204, the 108-run fourth-wicket stand between Mendis and Perera put Sri Lanka in a comfortable position at 180 for 3. However, Sri Lanka lost their next five wickets for 13 runs, sliding to 193 for 8, before Perera and AK Tyronne got the required runs. Earlier, a fifty from Nazmul Hossain Shanto, and useful contributions from Mosaddek Hossain and Yasir Ali helped Bangladesh put up 203 for 6.

Afghanistan Under-19s needed a total of just 26.4 overs to thump Malaysia Under-19s by 10 wickets in Abu Dhabi. Malaysia, who were bundled out for 50 and 32 in their previous two games, collapsed once again for 40 as medium-pacer Sayed Shirzad spearheaded an incisive bowling performance from Afghanistan. Malaysia's captain Muhammad Ramli was the team's top-scorer with 12, while their other 10 batsmen collectively contributed just 22 runs between them. Shirzad finished with 4 for 10, and Abdullah Adil picked up three scalps. to bowl Malaysia in 23.2 overs.

Afghanistan's openers Shahidullah and Ihsanullah completed the paltry chase in just 20 balls, hitting five fours and a six between them. Afghanistan will now play Pakistan in the semi-finals.

A four-for from left-arm spinner Sushan Bhari and a knock of 48 from Aarif Sheikh helped Nepal Under-19s seal a four-wicket win over United Arab Emirates Under-19s in Sharjah. Nepal were struggling at 49 for 3 before Sheikh anchored the chase with useful partnerships. After Sheikh was out, Siddhant Lohani and Rahul Pratap Singh ensured Nepal ended up on the winning side, finishing the game in 33 overs. Earlier, Bhari and left-arm pacer Lalit Bhandari kept chipping away with wickets to restrict UAE to 159. Dan D'Souza was the top-scorer for UAE with 32, in an innings where a few other batsmen got starts but couldn't play on. Bhari finished with 4 for 34, while Bhandari took 3 for 43.

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  • Dummy on January 2, 2014, 11:17 GMT

    Sami Alsam is a special talent.He needs to be given a chance right now.

  • m on January 1, 2014, 2:37 GMT

    well done boys, i know from now on Pakistan will not loose INSA to india as they have scrafice few games to save the game in pakistan but little mided people did not hold their end to the bargin ...... and the proof is last series that pak played in india

  • Ananta on December 31, 2013, 18:35 GMT

    Nepal was unlucky to drown with India & Pakistan, both are very strong teams & favorite to reach Final, If it was Srilanka or Bangladesh Nepal could have created some serious threat.....I am happy for Afghan.. they are Amazing & they are clearly Best Associate.. I wish if they can reach final this time.. Gud luck.

  • Android on December 31, 2013, 16:08 GMT

    sami asalm is knocking on selectors door for quite a while now the guy could be the next saeed anwar give him a chance instead of rubbish players like asad shafiq and umar amin or some one else who is not performing well dont let sami fade away in the domestic cricket since last U19 WC this guy has been in brilliant form he is scoring centuries for fun at this level

  • shershah on December 31, 2013, 14:28 GMT

    Pure Cricket by Afghanistan Under 19 team and the once again showed that they are belong to competitive. These kids need more matches against test nations country as they are the future of Afghan Cricket.

  • Ali Asghar on December 31, 2013, 13:19 GMT

    Its enough of brilliant showings from this great player Sami Aslam, time to pick him up "NOW" at this age in senior team, he's s pure talent, and I don't want him to reach 26-28 years age to get a game at International level with senior team, Congrats kids for your victory over arch rivals, these kids surely does have stronger nerves than senior players!

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