Yash Dhull's valiant knock of 66 and Nishant Sindhu's spellbinding spell of 8-0-20-5 helped India A to overcome a talented Bangladesh A side in the second semi-final of the Emerging Asia Cup 2023 in Colombo to set up a thrilling grand finale with Pakistan A.
After winning the toss and opting to field first, Bangladesh A had the India A side under pressure as they had reduced the Indian side to 137/7. The Indian batters were just finding it difficult to score runs on a challenging deck, but that was when skipper Yash Dhull stepped up and saved the day for them.
Dhull showed resilience and determination as he added another 74 runs with the last three wickets to extend India's total as far as possible. The youngster tried to take it deeper and deeper and he was finally dismissed in the last over of the innings. He was also the last wicket to fall for India, with an individual contribution of 66 runs to his name.
India posted a total of 211 on the board and their bowlers really needed to be on their toes to defend it. Bangladesh started off well, with their openers putting on a stand of 70 runs. The base for a win was already set and it looked like there was no stopping the Bangla Tigers. But once Manav Suthar cleaned up Mohammad Naim for an individual contribution of 38, the Bangladeshi batting unit fell like a pack of cards.
The Tigers lost their next nine wickers for just 90 runs, getting bowled out for 160 in the process. Left-arm spinner Nishant Sindhu was the wrecker-in-chief as he claimed figures of 5/20. Suthar was also impressive, with figures of 8.2-0-32-3 to his name. Among the Bangladeshi batters, Tanzid Hasan was their top scorer with 51 runs to his name. Apart from him and Naim, Saif Hassan (22) and Mahmudul Hasan Joy (20) were two other batters who crossed the score of 20.
India's win over Bangladesh means they will now meet Pakistan in the Emerging Asia Cup 2023 final. Pakistan A beat Sri Lanka by 60 runs in the first Semi-final to make their way into the final.
Iqbal's five-wicket haul sinks Sri Lanka in Emerging Asia Cup 2023 semi-final
While India beat Bangladesh, arch-rivals Pakistan emerged triumphant over Sri Lanka on the other side. After winning the toss and electing to bat first, the Pakistani batters delivered a superb batting performance to post a total of 322 on the board.
Omair Yousuf was their top scorer with 88 runs to his name, which he made off just 79 deliveries. Skipper Mohammad Haris also impressed with a 43-ball 52, while Mubasir Khan also contributed a valuable 42 runs to the total. Among the Sri Lankan bowlers, Lahiru Samarakoon, Pramod Madushan, and Chamika Karunaratne claimed two wickets each, while the likes of Sahan Arachchige and Dunith Wellalage claimed a wicket each.
Sri Lanka got off to a shaky start as they lost their first three wickets with just 13 runs on the board. But Arachchige and Avishka Fernando shared a brilliant stand of 148 runs for the fourth wicket to bring them back into the game. The stand was finally broken when Fernando was stumped off Sufiyaan Muqeem's bowling, just three runs short off a well-deserved century.
Wickers fell at regular intervals after that and Sri Lanka were finally bowled out for 262 runs, with 26 balls still remaining in the innings. Right-arm fast bowler Arshad Iqbal did the major damage to Sri Lanka's innings, claiming figures of 7.4-0-37-5. Among the Sri Lankan batters, Arachchige also scored 97 runs while the other Lankan batters didn't even cross 20. Iqbal was adjudged the Player of the Match for his five-wicket haul, which helped Pakistan wrap up the contest by a massive margin of 60 runs.
Brief Scores: Emerging Asia Cup 2023 semi-finals
Pakistan A vs Sri Lanka A
Pakistan A 322 All Out in 50 Overs (Yousuf 88, Haris 52; Samarakoon 2/42)
Sri Lanka 262 All Out in 45.4 Overs (Fernando 97, Arachchige 97; Iqbal 5/37)
Pakistan A won the match by 60 runs
India A vs Bangladesh A
India A 211 All Out in 49.1 Overs (Dhull 66, Sharma 34; Rakibul 2/36)
Bangladesh A 160 All Out in 34.2 Overs (Tanzid 51, Naim 38; Sindhu 5/20)
India A won the match by 51 runs.