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Taha's 92 takes Pakistan to U-19 Asia Cup final

Lahore fans express their delight at cricket's return to Pakistan AFP

Mohammad Taha struck a crucial 92 to haul Pakistan U-19 into the final of the U-19 Asia Cup in a truncated chase against Bangladesh U-19 in Kuala Lumpur. In pursuit of Bangladesh's 274 for 6, Pakistan were ahead by just two runs in the Duckworth-Lewis method when rain stopped play in the 39th over with Pakistan on 199 for 5. The DLS par score at the point was 197 and Pakistan sneaked home by two runs.

Bangladesh's innings was built on the platform provided by Pinak Ghosh's 82. Sent in to bat, Bangladesh were set up well by a fifty-run opening stand. Mohammad Naim, who contributed just 14 to that, fell in the ninth over, but his partner Ghosh, along with the captain Saif Hassan (61) put on 105 runs for the second wicket. Munir Riaz dismissed both batsmen and finished with three wickets, although he was expensive and leaked 53 in eight overs. Bangladesh were shored up by Afif Hossain's 52 and a late surge from Nayeem Hasan, who biffed 22 off 15 balls.

Pakistan lost their top three in 11 overs and were struggling at 51 for 3 when Taha began resurrecting their innings. Taha hit eight fours and three sixes in his innings of 92. He was assisted by solid contributions from the middle order, in the form of wicketkeeper Rohail Nazar (26) and Saad Khan (35*). Taha fell in the 39th over with the score on 197, to the medium pace of Qazi Onik (2 for 35). Saad and Hasan Khan, the captain, managed to eke out two more runs off the next four balls before rain intervened. Play never resumed thereafter and Pakistan were declared victors by a slender margin. They will be joined by the winner of the second semifinal, between Afghanistan and Nepal, for the title clash on Sunday.

Pakistan U19 2nd innings Partnerships

WktRunsPlayers
1st8Muhammad ArifMuhammad Mohsin Khan
2nd18Abdullah ShafiqueMuhammad Mohsin Khan
3rd25Muhammad Mohsin KhanMohammad Taha
4th69Mohammad TahaRohail Nazir
5th77Saad KhanMohammad Taha
6th2Hassan KhanSaad Khan