Pakistan scrape past Afghanistan


Pakistan Under-23 made a meal of their chase of 143 but eventually beat Afghanistan by two wickets in a low-scoring Group A match at the Asian Cricket Council’s Emerging Teams Cup in Singapore on Monday.

Reprts received here said, Put in, Afghanistan were propelled by a third-wicket stand of 35 between Asghar Stanikzai and Hashmatullah Shaidi, the debutant. The stand was broken when Usman Qadir, the leg-break bowler, dismissed Stanikzai and the wicket led to a mini implosion. However, Shaidi held the innings together, putting on 46 for the sixth wicket with Mohammad Nabi (21) and scoring a gritty 128-ball 52 to take Afghanistan to 142 in 49.3 overs.

Pakistan got their chase off to a strong start, Babar Azam and Azeem Ghumman adding 50 for the opening wicket. Azam (28) was run out, but the scoreboard kept ticking as Ghumman and Umar Waheed realised 43 for the second wicket.

Hamid Hassan, the right-arm fast bowler, broke the stand by dismissing Gumman (39) and Usman Salahuddin, the new man, didn’t last long as Pakistan were reduced to 97 for 3. Mohammad Nawaz and Waheed added 29 for the fourth wicket to take the total to 126, but Nawaz’s dismissal triggered a slide which very nearly derailed the chase. Pakistan lost five wickets in the space of 11 runs, and were eight down for 137.

But the wickets came a little too late for Afghanistan as Pakistan sneaked home, with Mohammad Rizwan and Adil unbeaten when victory was brought up.

In a Group B match, the United Arab Emirates eased to a nine-wicket victory over Singapore. Chasing 163, they were propelled by Shaiman Anwar’s ballistic century. Put in, Singapore’s batsmen failed to convert starts into big scores and were bowled out for 162, with Nasir Aziz, the offspinner, returning figures of 4 for 41. In the UAE innings, Anwar scored 119 off 104 balls to single-handedly take his team to victory. Abdul Shakoor, the other opener, fell for 36, the lone wicket to fall in the chase.

Brief scores:

Afghanistan: 142 in 49.3 overs (Hashmatullah Shaidi 52 n.o.; Usman Qadir 2-27, Mohammad Nawaz 2-24, Raza Hasan 3-27) lt to Pakistan: 143/8 in 48.4 overs (Babar Azam 28, Azeem Ghumman 39, Umar Waheed 43; Hamza Hotak 2-25, Hamid Hassan 2-21, Mohammad Nabi 2-21) by 2 wickets.

Singapore: 162 in 48 overs (Andre de Lange 26, Chetan Suryawanshi 33; Nasir Aziz 4-41) lt to UAE: 164/1 in 27.3 overs (Abdul Shakoor 33, Shaiman Anwar 119*) by 9 wickets.