UAE stun Pakistan while Bangladesh cause another upset over India to storm into Under-19 Asia Cup Final

UAE beat Pakistan by 10 runs in the first Semifinal while Bangladesh defeated India in the second Semifinal to become two finalists of the Under-19 Asia Cup.

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UAE vs PAK
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UAE vs PAK (Photo Source: Twitter)

Bangladesh side's spirited effort in the ongoing Under-19 Asia Cup to storm into the final of the tournament after causing a massive upset over Team India. Courtesy of a counter-attacking game, Ariful Islam's gutsy half-century, followed by a sensational four-wicket haul by Maruf Mridha guided the Asian side to steal a memorable 4-wicket victory in Dubai on Friday, December 15.

Notably, India skipper Uday Saharan won the toss and opted to bat first in the second semifinal of the continental event. However, the decision seemed to have backfired as the Indian batters failed to find their mojo on a tricky two-paced surface. At one stage, Team India were reeling at 61/6 in 15.5 overs, but Musheer Khan (50 off 61) and Murugan Abhishek (62 off 74) steadied the ship with their vital fifties and stitched a crucial 84-run stand for the 7th wicket.

During the run chase, the Bangla Tigers too suffered some early jolts and were struggling at 34/3 in 9.4 overs. Thereafter, Ahrar Amin (44 off 101) arrived at the crease and got into the rescue act with Ariful Islam to produce a match-defining stand of 138 runs for the fourth wicket. Interestingly enough, Ariful was looking out of rhythm at first but as spent more time in the middle, he started toying with the Indian bowlers as he played some scintillating shots all around the park. Though both the batters got out to give India some outside chances, it was the tailenders who finished the job for Bangladesh.

UAE trump Pakistan to set Final date with Bangladesh for Under-19 Asia Cup glory

Now speaking of the first semifinal, another major upset was on the cards this time in the form of team Pakistan. The hosts UAE scripted history as they beat a strong Under-19 side of the Men in Green to enter the final of the 2023 edition of the ACC U19 Asia Cup. In what turned out to be a humdinger, the Emirates side edged out the visitors by 11 runs.

In notable performances for the UAE side, skipper Aayan Afzal Khan led from the front with this valiant fifty (55 off 57), while Aryansh Sharma (46 off 70) ably supported him from the other end. After having asked to bat first, the hosts lost half their in the 23rd over as they were struggling at 85/5 on the board. However, the UAE skipper stayed till the end to ensure his side had some respectable total to fight with. As a result, UAE finished with 193 runs on the board.

In reply, Pakistan seemingly started complacently taking 194 as an easy target given their strong reputation at the Under-19 level. They lost two early wickets but recovered well in the middle stages. Despite that, the Emirates bowlers kept fighting and the game went down to the wire. UAE showed a collective bowling effort coupled with some brilliant fielding in the field which inflicted three run-outs in Pakistan's innings. Consequently, Pakistan fell agonizingly short of the target and got bowled out for 182 runs in 49.3 overs.

UAE will now clash with Bangladesh in the grand final of the Under-19 Asia Cup on Sunday, December 17, in Dubai.

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