Middle-order batter Tayyab Tahir scored a breathtaking century as Pakistan A emerged triumphant over India A by a massive margin of 128 runs in the Emerging Asia Cup 2023 Final in Colombo on Sunday.
Pakistan took firm control of the match right after India won the toss and elected to field first. The Pakistani openers, Saif Ayub and Sahibzada Farhan, set the tone for the team with an opening stand of 121 runs. Both batters made their way to well-deserved half-centuries, with Ayub scoring 59 and Farhan scoring 65.
The stand was broken when left-arm spinner Manav Suthar dismissed Ayub caught behind. India skipper Yash Dhull provided the second breakthrough soon with a brilliant run out to dismiss Farhan. India made a great comeback in the match as they reduced Pakistan to 187/5, with Riyan Parag claiming back-to-back wickets of Omair Yousuf and Qasim Akram.
The period was great for the Indian team as they were hopeful of restricting Pakistan to a chaseable total now. But Tayyab Tahir had other ideas as he launched a brilliant counterattack to catch the Indian bowlers off-guard.
Tayyab Tahir lands knockout punch on India A in Emerging Asia Cup final
Tahir looked absolutely unstoppable as he smashed the Indian bowlers all around the park. He made his way to 108 runs off just 71 deliveries, including 12 fours and four huge sixes. Lower-order batters Mubasir Khan (35), Mehran Mumtaz (13), and Mohammad Wasim (17*) provided good support to Tahir as Pakistan made their way to a massive total of 352/8 in their full quota of 50 overs.
The Indian batting unit had the talent and potential to chase the target down but it was always going to be difficult in a high-stakes final. India A started off well, with a 64-run stand between Sai Sudharsan and Abhishek Sharma, and another 52-run stand later on between skipper Yash Dhull and Sharma had taken them to a total of 132/2 by the 20th over.
Sharma was batting really well but India lost the plot completely once Sufiyan Muqeem dismissed him at the stroke of the 20th over. The wicket of Yash Dhull (39) followed soon as the other Indian wickets kept falling one after another. The lower order failed to display any sort of resistance as India A got bowled out for 224 runs with ten full overs still remaining.
Left-arm wrist-spinner Sufiyaan Muqeem was the pick of the Pakistani bowlers, with figures of 3/66 to his name in 10 overs, while Arshad Iqbal, Mehran Mumtaz, and Mohammad Wasim claimed a couple of wickets each. Tahir was adjudged the Player of the Match for his super innings as Pakistan won the game by 128 runs and lifted the Emerging Asia Cup trophy for the second time.
Brief Scores: Pakistan A vs India A – Emerging Asia Cup 2023 final
Pakistan A 352/8 in 50 Overs (Tahir 108, Farhan 65; Parag 2/24)
India A 224 All Out in 40 Overs (Sharma 61, Dhull 39; 3/66 Muqeem)
Pakistan A won the match by 128 runs.