U-19s Asia Cup, Final: Pakistan vs India
Mumbai desk, July 1: The ACC Under-19 Asia Cup final between archrivals Pakistan and India ended in a tie at the Kinrara Academy Oval in Kuala Lumpur resulting in the trophy being shared by both teams.
In yet another closely fought game between the two sides, neither conceded an inch. Needing 283 to win, India lost Manan Vohra with just 20 runs on board. But Unmukt Chand held up one end with a determined 150-ball innings. The India captain and Baba Aparajith (90) stitched together a 175-run partnership until the latter was caught by Zia-ul-Haq at short fine leg off Mohammad Nawaz. A couple of overs later, Zia-ul-Haq, who had given Pakistan their first breakthrough, claimed the key wicket of Vijay Zol (11). Akshdeep Nath, who joined Chand at the crease, helped add 33 runs for the fourth wicket before top-edging a short ball from Nawaz to Azizullah. A little later, the left-arm spinner bowled Sanju Samson.
At five down for 255, needing 28 off 23 balls, wicketkeeper Samit Patel joined Chand in the middle. In the next over Patel too fell cheaply to Ehsan Adil but with the skipper still out in the middle, India had hope. The match, at this stage, was poised to go either way.
With Chand on strike and Rush Kalaria at the other end, and seven required off six deliveries, Ehsan bowled a dot ball and followed that up with two singles. The stage was set for another thrilling finish as Chand (121) was out caught near the ropes. Picking an important scalp, the bowling team had the edge, but Kalaria, who was now facing the quick bowler, slammed the ball to the fence to level scores. With India needing one run off one ball to lift the trophy, Zia-ul-Haq took the catch that brought an end to Kalaria’s innings and the match.
Asked to bat first after losing the toss, Pakistan skipper Babar Azam was run out with the score on 33 thanks to a superb fielding effort from bowler Sandeep Sharma. That brought out Imam-ul-Haq who edged Aparajith to Patel behind the stumps after contributing only 10 runs to the total. But Umar Waheed, who replaced him at the crease, built a 100-run partnership with Aslam, missing out on a well deserved half-century when he was trapped leg before by Vikas Sharma.
Sami Aslam, who had hit a century in the previous encounter between the two teams where Pakistan beat India by one run, notched up yet another superb ton to help set a formidable target for the opposition.
Although wickets continued to fall at regular intervals after that, Aslam’s onslaught from the other end ensured that the Pakistan youngsters had a pile of runs to defend. After Sandeep Sharma claimed No. 5 bat Mohammad Nawaz’s off-stump, Kalaria did the rest. Saad Ali perished attempting to play the big shot only to find Askdeep Nath at long on. Kalaria rattled Aslam’s woodwork off the next delivery and was on a hat-trick. The Pakistan opener slammed 134 off 124 balls with 13 boundaries and three sixes before being castled.
Ehsan was dismissed in Saurashtra paceman Kalaria’s next over, fishing outside the off-stump. In the last over, Kalaria dismissed Azizullah and Salman Afridi taking his tally to five.
Brief scores: Pak U-19s 282/9 in 50 overs (Sami Aslam 134, U Waheed 48, R Kalaria 5/37), India U-19s 282/8 in 50 overs (U Chand 121, B Aparajith 90, M Nawaz 3/45, E Adil 3/68) Match Tied
Men-of-the-Match: Centurions Unmukt Chand and Sami Aslam
Man-of-the-Series: Sami Aslam of Pakistan for a consistent batting effort through the tournament