Afghanistan create history, crush Pakistan in finals to lift ACC U19 Asia Cup

Afghanistan create history, crush Pakistan in finals to lift ACC U19 Asia Cup

Afghanistan U19 beat Pakistan U19 by 185 runs in the fianl

Afghanistan U19
Afghanistan U19 players offer prayers after winning the Youth Asia Cup. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The stage was set at the Kinrara Academy Oval, Kuala Lumpur, for the all important finals of the ACC U19 Asia Cup 2017. Heavyweights Pakistan U19 were up against the emerging Afghanistan U19 for the coveted glory. The Afghanistani side had already scripted history by making it to the finals. But what they went on to achieve on the big day, has now propelled them to a whole new level altogether.

Coming in to the game, the much fancied Pakistani side was expected to steamroll the opposition, as has usually been the case among the senior teams of the respective nations. But the youngsters had other plans. Afghanistan stunned the Pakistani side and thoroughly outplayed them in the match. A record 185 run win gave them their first ever Asia Cup title win. This was their second win against Pakistan in the competition.

More importantly, it has given them hope – a new hope that there are even bigger things to achieve at the horizon. Talking about the match, Pakistan U19 won the toss and opted to bowl first. Chasing in the big finale seemed to be winning mantra for the seasoned team. In walked Rahmanullah Gubraz and Ibrahim Zadran to open the innings for the Afghanistani team as Munir Riaz shared the new ball with Shaheen Afridi for Pakistan.

It was a decent start for the Pakistani bowlers as the runs were hard to come by against the new ball. But what the opposition managed to do right was to keep the wickets intact. The openers added 61 runs in 108 deliveries for the first wicket before Gubraz was sent packing on 40 by Muhammad Musa. In walked Ikram Ali Khil to join Zadran at the crease.

While Ikram scored runs freely, Zadran struggled to get going. He was eventually dismissed on 36 (76) by Mohammad Taha. Darwish Rasool (18), Nisar Wahdat (7) fell in quick succession as Musa accounted for their dismissals. Wickets kept tumbling from one end as Ikram continued to bat along. The stylish wicket-keeper batsman almost singlehandedly took the Afghanistan total to 248/7 in the stipulated 50 overs. Ikram remained unbeaten on a well timed 107 that came off just 113 balls with 10 fours and 2 maximums.

And the run chase

In the run chase, Pakistan could never really get in the hunt. The bowlers were too hot to handle for them on the day. Mujeeb was the star of the show for the Afghanistan team as he scalped 5/13 in 7.1 overs. He had managed to take a wicket in his very first over in the run chase to put the opposition on the back foot.

Runs could never really come for the men in green and only two batsmen could get in to the double digits. They were shot out for a paltry total of 63 in 22.1 overs to hand over a magnificent piece of history to the Afghanistani colts.

Brief Scores:

Afganistan U19: 248/7 in 50 overs (Ikram 107*, Gurbaz 40, Musa 3/46, Afridi2/42)

Pakistan U19: 63/10 in 22.1 overs (Taha 19, Hasan 10, Mujeeb 5/13, Qais 3/18)