Afghanistan down India but fail to reach semis
KABUL (PAN): Afghanistan upset India Under-23 in their match of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) Emerging Teams Cup in Singapore on Thursday, an official said. However, the winners failed to find their way to semi-finals.
Coming two days after Afghanistan blanked Pakistan in their first historic soccer duel in 36 years in Kabul, the victory represents the proverbial icing on the cake for cricket-crazy Afghans.
Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) spokesman Farid Hotak told Pajhwok Afghan News the national side was asked to bat first in the low-scoring encounter after India won the toss.
In the stipulated 50 overs, Afghanistan scored 184 at a rate of 3.68 runs per over, with Samiullah Shinwari hitting an unbeaten 43 off 44 deliveries. Mohammad Shahzad chipped in with 38 and Mohammad Nabi 25.
For India, AR Patel and B Aparajith not only took wickets apiece but also kept run-scoring in check. Sandeep Sharma and ALMenaria bagged one wicket each, Hotak said.
Despite a solid opening stand, Indian batsmen failed to show the concentration and application expected of them. Unable to cope with fierce bowling spells from Afghans, they were bundled out for 156 runs.
KR Rahul (51) and AR Bawne did exhibit some measure of defiance, the rest of the batsmen went out cheaply, the ACB spokesman said, adding Mohammad Nabi dismissed three key opposition players.
As Afghanistan pulled off a convincing 28-run triumph, Rehmat Shah claimed two Indian scalps while Hamza Hotak, Mirwais Ashraf and Izzatullah Dawlatzai had to be content with wicket each.
Despite their success, the Afghans could not book a berth in the semifinals, a stage they may have reached if India had been restricted to 130 or less. In recognition of his responsible knock, Shinwari was declared the Man of the Match.
The tournament features U-23 teams of Test-playing nations such as India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, which are competing with emerging countries like Afghanistan, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore and Nepal.
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