The match-winning 65-run seventh-wicket stand between Raj Bawa and Kaushal Tambe helped India overcome Afghanistan by four wickets in the U-19 Asia Cup semi-finals on Monday.
Bawa (43 not out) and Tambe (35 not out) joined forces when India was struggling at 197 for six, but they remained composed and took the ‘Boys in Blue’ to their needed 260-run mark with 10 balls to spare.
This happened after Harnoor Pannu (65) and Angkrish Raghuvanshi (35) set up a robust 104-run opening stand. On the other side, the middle order disintegrated, with skipper Yash Dull (26) and Nishant Sindhu (19) failing to convert starts. Bawa and Tambe were in charge of returning the team to their base.
India finished second in the group with this victory, trailing only Pakistan, which had won all of its matches.
The winner of the match between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, which took place in the last group league encounter, will face India.
India would face the winner of the other group if they finished second.
Afghanistan reached 259/4 thanks to captain Suliman Safi’s steady 73 and Ijaz Ahmad Ahmadzai’s blistering unbeaten 86 off 68 balls at the ICC Academy – Oval 2 here.
India raced to 44 for no loss in six overs, chasing 260, thanks to Harnoor’s nine boundaries and Angkrish’s quick
At the pitch, it was raining boundaries, with the two openers pounding the Afghan attack with ease.
India was cruising at 74/0 after 12 overs. Noor Ahmad (4/43), a left-arm unorthodox spinner, trapped Raghuvanshi in the front and broke the 104-run opening stand.
Afghanistan dismissed Harnoor and Shaik Rasheed easily, reducing India to 116/3. (6). Then, with India on 162/4, skipper Dhull and Sindhu attempted to take the game deep, but Khalel Khalel took the game away from them by removing Sindhu.
Noor Ahmad took his third wicket as Ishaq stumped Dhull in the 36th over, and India lost half its side for 183. Noor then caught Aaradhya Yadav (12), leaving India on 197/6.
Bawa and Tambe had a big assignment ahead of them, but they worked together to develop a match-winning connection that powered their team to the quarterfinals, with Tambe finishing the game with a boundary.
Afghanistan U19 259/4 (Ijaz Ahmad Ahmadzai 86 not out, Suliman Safi 73; Kaushal Tambe 1/25) were defeated by India U19 262/6 (Harnoor Singh 65; R Bawa 43 not out; Noor Ahmad 4/43) by four wickets.