MALAYSIA: Pakistan Uner-19 team has reached the final of Under-19 Asia Cup after beating Bangladesh by 2 runs (DLS method).
Pakistan’s Mohammad Taha top scored with a responsible 92 that saw Pakistan home in a tense chase at Royal Selangor Club Mont Kiara, Malaysia. After opting to bowl, keeping in mind the forecast of the day, Pakistani bowlers went for runs in the first quarter of the Bangladesh innings.
However, the 17 year old pacer Shaheeh Shah Afridi gave Pakistan the first breakthrough after Mohammad Naim edged to the keeper for 14. Pinak Gosh and Saif Hassan got together for a solid stand of 105 runs for the third wicket milking the spinners in the process. However, Munir Riaz bowled brilliantly in his return spell to claim three important wickets and sucking life out of Bangladesh batting. Hassan Khan, who shot to fame with a stint for Quetta Gladiators in the last PSL, bowled economically for his nine overs.
A hard fought half century from Afif Hossain and valuable contributions from the lower order took Bangladesh to a reasonable total of 274. With Pakistan known for showing nerves while chasing big totals, this was supposedly a fighting total.
Pakistan’s top order has not fired throughout the tournament, and the weakness was on show as they lost Muhammad Arif for just 4. They lost wickets on regular intervals and were slumped to 51-3 when all-rounder Mohammad Taha and wicket keeper Rohail Nazir got together for a match saving partnership. Nazir went for a well placed 26, but Saad Khan, another promissing all-rounder joined Taha in a match winning act.
Taha eventually got out for 92, but not before steering his side to safety. Soon, rain came and Pakistan were found just ahead of the DLS par score. Pakistan will now face the winner of the second semi-final between Afghanistan and Nepal.