U-19 Asia Cup: Azan Awais scores ton as Pakistan beat India by 8 wickets

Pakistan rode on Azan Awais’s classy unbeaten century to beat arch-rivals India by eight wickets in the ongoing U-19 Asia Cup on Sunday.

Batting first, India U19 posted a competitive total of 259/9 in their allotted 50 overs. The Indian innings was bolstered by significant contributions from Adarsh Singh (62 off 81) and Uday Saharan (60 off 98), who laid a solid foundation. Saharan’s captaincy knock was a blend of resilience and technique, stabilizing the innings after the early loss of Arshin Atul Kulkarni (24 off 24). The real impetus came from Sachin Dhas, who smashed a rapid 58 from just 42 balls, propelling India to a challenging score.

Pakistan U19’s bowling attack, led by Mohammad Zeeshan with an impressive haul of 4/46, kept chipping away at the Indian batting lineup. Zeeshan’s spell, characterized by disciplined line and length, was pivotal in restricting India under the 260-mark.

Chasing 260, Pakistan U19’s innings was anchored by a magnificent century from Azan Awais, who remained not out on 105 from 130 balls. His innings, studded with 10 boundaries, was a masterclass in chasing a big total. Shahzaib Khan (63 off 88) and Saad Baig (68* off 51) provided substantial support, ensuring the Pakistani chase never lost momentum.

India’s bowling, despite early success from Murugan Abhishek (2/55), struggled to make further inroads. Pakistan capitalized on this, with Azan Awais and Saad Baig stitching together an unbeaten 125-run partnership for the third wicket. Baig’s explosive batting in the latter part of the innings, featuring 8 boundaries and a six, turned the game decisively in Pakistan’s favor.

The biggest name among U-19s — Sarfaraz Khan’s younger brother Musheer (2) couldn’t repeat the performance of the opening game.

India will be playing its final group league match on Tuesday against Nepal and need to win it in order to qualify for the semi-final while Pakistan with two wins from two games would have to lose by a huge margin to Afghanistan in order to qualify.

It shouldn’t be a problem for India colts as Nepal aren’t the toughest team to beat, having already lost both their encounters.

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Published: 10 Dec 2023, 07:56 PM IST

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