Afghanistan pulled off a stunning win over Pakistan on the first day of the Under-19 Asia Cup tournament to earn two valuable points in Colombo on Thursday.

Pakistan, one of the leading contenders to win the title, were  well below par as they were shot out for 78 runs inside 20 overs after being set a target of 163 runs in a game reduced to 46 overs.

Afghanistan v Pakistan
Winners - Afghanistan

Pakistan having come into the tournament with momentum behind them following their 7-0 win over South Africa in South Africa did well to restrict Afghanistan to 162 but their batting failed to click with just two players getting into double figures at P. Sara Oval.

The game was reduced to 46 overs due to rain.

Put into bat first, Afghanistan got off to a good start with the openers – captain Farhan Zakil (19) and Sediqullah Atal (29) adding 47 runs for the first wicket in 74 balls. But once second change bowler Aamir Ali found the breakthrough, their innings fell apart. Aamir finished with three wickets and he was well backed up by Fahad Munir, who also accounted for three victims.

Most of Afghanistan batsmen got starts but no one went onto get a big score with Sediqullah’s 29 being the highest score of the innings.

Pakistan got off to a poor start losing four wickets for 33 runs inside seven overs and never recovered. Only Irfan Khan (19) and captain Rohail Nazir (16) got into double figures.

Left-arm quicks Abidullah Taniwal and Fazal Haque made early inroads picking up two wickets apiece before 17-year-old leg-spinner Shafiqullah Ghafari ran through the middle order. He was named Man of the Match. Left-arm wrist spinner Noor Ahmad also claimed two wickets to hand Pakistan a heavy 85 run defeat.

Early defeat by a big margin will now make Pakistan’s campaign tough and they can afford to make little mistake in rest of the group games in a bid to earn a semi-final berth.

Pakistan must now win their next clash against arch-rivals India on Saturday at Moratuwa.

Eight teams take part in the Under-19 Asia Cup. Apart from the five Test playing nations, Nepal, United Arab Emirates and Kuwait qualified to play the tournament having excelled in the qualifying round in Malaysia.

On Friday, hosts Sri Lanka will take on Nepal at R. Premadasa Stadium while Bangladesh will play UAE in Katunayake.

Thu 5-Sep

Afghanistan v Pakistan at P Sara
Pakistan won the toss and elected to field
Afghanistan: 162 for 9 off 46 overs (F.Munir 3-23, A.Ali 3-34)
Pakistan: 78 all out off 19.4 overs (S.Ghafari 3-15)
Man of the Match: Shafiqullah Ghafari (Afghanistan)


Tournament page

Filed September 5th, 2019