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Stars in their eyes, young guns embark on journey of hope - Cricket News
Features and Specials,26 January 2016

Stars in their eyes, young guns embark on journey of hope

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India to meet Pakistan in Under 19 Asia Cup final

Karamat Ali takes hat-trick in Pakistan’s two-wicket win over Afghanistan, Ankush Bains’ 54 helps India beat Sri Lanka by three wickets

India to meet Pakistan in Under 19 Asia Cup final - Cricket News
Sami Aslam led from the front for Pakistan U19, scoring 75.
For the second time in the space of two matches in three days, Pakistan Under-19 reached an apparently unassailable position only to stumble across the winning line with just two wickets and a handful of deliveries to spare.

Sami Aslam, Pakistan’s captain, scored 75, but his side, chasing 197 to win, only just survived after losing four wickets for 14 runs near the end, to scrape through to the final of the Under-19 Asia Cup, at Sharjah on Thursday (December 2). 

After Afghanistan opted to bat first, Hashmatullah Shaidi, the middle-order batsman, top-scored with 51 while Waheedullah Shafaq made a breezy 48 to help its total acquire a semblance of respectability.

That Afghanistan could not get off the blocks was because of Karamat Ali, the 17-year-old Pakistani legspinner, whose figures of 5 for 33, including a hat-trick, was the game changer. It was his second five-for of the week. 

Speaking to reporters after the game, Karamat said, “Earlier, I was a fast bowler but I was guided by my club coaches to go and bowl leg-breaks.” 

Pakistan now is unbeaten in 18 games at this level and will face India in the final on Friday. 

India walked into the final after beating Sri Lanka by three wickets at the ICC Cricket Academy in Dubai. 

Ankush Bains, the wicketkeeper-opener, was the mainstay of India’s successful pursuit of 224 to win, despite spending much of the innings sidelined.

Forced to retire hurt, after being hit on the groin off Binura Fernando’s bowling, before a run was on the board, Bains returned to play a vital hand in India’s middle-order. 

He made 54 to take his side to the brink of a victory which was eventually secured when Kuldeep Yadav, who had earlier taken three wickets, hit the winning runs.

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