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Afghanistan stun Pakistan to reach Asian Games 2023 final

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Afghanistan beat Pakistan by four wickets in the Asian Games 2023 Men’s Cricket second semi-final played at the Zhejiang University of Technology Cricket Field in Hangzhou, China on Friday.

After being put into bat first, Pakistan were bowled out for 115 in 18 overs. The target was achieved in 17.5 overs by Afghanistan.

Omair Yousuf (24, 19b, 2x4s, 1×6) was the highest scorer for Pakistan, followed by Aamir Jamal (14, 11b, 1×4, 1×6), Arafat Minhas (13, 14b, 1×4) and Rohail Nazir (10, 15b, 1×6).

Pacer Fareed Ahmed returned with three wickets while giving 15 runs in the three overs he bowled. Spinners Qais Ahmed and Zahir Khan grabbed two wickets each.

In return, on the backs of Noor Ali Zadran (39, 33b, 4x4s, 2x6s) and Gulbadin Naib (26 not out, 19b, 1×4, 3x6s), Afghanistan secured the final berth at the 19th Asian Games.

Pakistan spin attack gained much success during the innings; Qasim Akram and Sufiyan Muqeem got a wicket each, while Usman Qadir and Arafat Minhas returned with two wickets each.

In the first Asian Games 2023 semi-final, India outclassed Bangladesh by nine wickets and 64 balls to spare, thanks to a combined bowling effort, followed by Tilak Verma’s unbeaten half-century.

Put into bat first, Bangladesh could post a meagre total of 96/9 on the board.

Wicketkeeper batter Jaker Ali (24 not out) top-scored for Bangladesh in their dismal show with the bat, followed by opener Parvez Hossain Emon (23) and Rakibul Hasan (14) while the rest of their batters failed to make it into the double figures.

In response, India comfortably knocked off the winning runs, courtesy of an unbeaten 97-run partnership between Ruturaj Gaikwad and Verma.

Verma remained the top-scorer for India with an unbeaten 55 off just 26 deliveries while Gaikwad scored 40 not out in as many balls.

Pakistan next face Bangladesh for the Asian Games 2023 bronze medal at the same venue tomorrow. The match will begin at 0600 local time.

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