U19 Asia Cup: India beat Afghanistan to enter the semi-finals


India defeated Afghanistan by four wickets to reach the semis of the U-19 Asia Cup. India registered a fighting win against the gritty Afghans in Dubai. India is placed second behind Pakistan after securing a nail-biting win. India will face either Sri Lanka or Bangladesh in the semis. Raj Bawa (43*) and Kaushal Tambe (35*) played a crucial partnership of 65-run for the seventh wicket and ensured their team reach home.

Earlier, Afghanistan posted a decent total of 259/4 in 50 overs. Ijaz Ahmad troubled the Indian bowlers and played an unbeaten knock of 86. Skipper Suliman Safi scored a brilliant 73 by smashing seven boundaries and one six. Chasing a target of 260, Indian openers Harnoor Pannu (65) and Angkrish Raghuvanshi (35) gave an excellent solid start. Both hammered the Afghan attack and added 104-run for the opening stand.

Noor Ahmad gave the much needed breakthrough by dismissing Raghuvanshi. Afghan bowlers removed Harnoor and Rasheed in quick succession to put pressure on India. Men in blue slipped to 197/6, as skipper Yash Dull (26) and Nishant Sindhu (19) failed to convert their starts.

The left-arm unorthodox spinner Noor Ahmad was amongst wickets and bagged four wickets in no time.   Afghanistan made a good comeback in the middle-overs but failed to take wickets towards the end. Bawa and Tambe had an enormous task in front of them. They kept calm and forged a match-winning stand to take their side to the last four. Tambe finished the game with a boundary. India reached the target with 10 balls to spare.