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Emerging Teams Asia Cup Final: Tahir shines as Pakistan A beat India A

Pakistan A, the winners of the 2019 edition, won the final match of this edition by a whopping 128 runs against India A. The win came courtesy of a Tayyab Tahir century and collective bowling effort

Pakistan A win the Emerging Teams Asia Cup final against India A. Photo: PCB

Pakistan A win the Emerging Teams Asia Cup final against India A. Photo: PCB

BS Web Team New Delhi

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India A were no match for the arch-rivals Pakistan A as the latter successfully defended their Emerging Teams Asia Cup title won in 2019. The Pakistani side beat the Indian team by whopping128 runs to seal the final at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Tayyab Tahir, who scored a brilliant 108 off just 71 balls with the help of 12 fours and four sixes was named Player of the Match in the final. 

Pakistan had an amazing start with the bat 

It was more like the recap of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 final where senior Team India had won the toss and decided to bowl first and then let Pakistan slip past 300. Similar scenes were visible in Colombo as India A captain Yash Dhull won the toss and decided to bowl first. Making the best use of the fresh pitch, Pakistan openers put up 121 for the first wicket. 

India came back with four wickets 

India tried to come back by picking two quick wickets as both the Pak A openers Saim Ayub and Sahibzada Farhan departed in quick succession. While Manav Suthar got Ayub, Farhan was run-out. Part-time leggie Riyan Parag then had two quick wickets to his name and Nishat Sandhu, the leading wicket-taker in the series got rid of Pakistani skipper Mohammad Haris to push the junior men in green towards troubled waters. India seemed like taking control of the game at that stage. 

Tahir goes bang-bang to get Pakistan over 350

Tahir, a middle-order batter who has played three T20Is for the senior team, had other ideas though. He started damage control alongside Mubasir Khan as the duo added 126 for the sixth wicket. Tahir was the one who did all the damage with his brilliant display of batting. He accessed all sides of the ground, playing scoops to fast bowlers, reverse sweep to spinners and paddles to medium pacers. 

By the time the right-hander was out for 108 off just 71 balls, Pakistan A had already crossed the 300-mark. Lower order hitters Mohammad Wasim Junior and Mehran Mumtaz then dealt in boundaries to take their team past 352. For India, Parag turned out to be the best bowler with figures of 2/24 in his four overs. 

Indian batters continue their struggle 

India A batters had struggled in their match against Bangladesh A in the semi-final as well. The Indian colts were unable to deal with Bangladeshi bowlers and were bundled out for 211 only. It was their bowling that saved them against Bangladesh. But this time around the batters had to do the damage control and they failed again. 

India A started well with openers adding 64 for the first wicket in only 8.3 overs. The run rate was kept up by the batters to follow but wickets kept falling at regular intervals. As a result, all the recognised batters were out with the Indian score reading 181/7. The formalities were completed with India A getting bowled out for 224. 

For Pakistan, left-arm chinaman Sufiyan Muqeem picked three wickets while Arshad Iqbal, Wasim Jr and Mumtaz had two wickets each to their name. Mubasir got one wicket as well. 

Sindhu, who took 11 wickets in total throughout the five games, was awarded the Player of the Series award. This was the fifth edition of the Emerging Teams Asia Cup and India have remained trophyless ever since winning the first edition held in Singapore in 2013. Sri Lanka and Pakistan have won the title twice.

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First Published: Jul 23 2023 | 11:18 PM IST

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