Afghanistan wins maiden Under-19 Asia Cup

The Afghans rode on an unbeaten 107 from Ikram Ali to post a competitive 248 for seven after being asked to bat. In response, Pakistan was bundled for just 63 in 22.1 overs with off-spinner Mujeeb Zadran returning with brilliant figures of five for 13. Mujeeb had taken six for 23 in the league match between the two sides, which too Afghanistan had won, by seven wickets.

Mujeeb, who finished the tournament with 20 wickets from five matches, removed openers Mohammad Arif (4) and Omair Yousuf (0) early in the chase to hand Afghanistan control over proceedings. The early wickets triggered panic in the Pakistan camp, and Afghanistan bowlers took full advantage of the situation.

Besides, leg-spinner Qais Ahmad picked up three wickets for 18 from his six overs. Pakistani batsman’s struggle can be gauged from the fact that as many as nine of them failed to reach double-figures. Afghanistan got off to a good start with Rahmanullah Gurbaz (40) and Ibrahim Zadran (36) putting on a 61-run off 108 balls for the opening wicket. Once Gurbaz fell, caught by Muhammad Arif off Muhammad Musa, Pakistan sensed an opening. But Ikram foiled its plans with his brilliant knock to singlehandedly carry Afghanistan past 200.

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