Afghanistan win Under-19 Asia Cup
The Central Asian team routed Pakistan by 185 runs in a historic final.
In a historic game, Afghanistan defeated Pakistan by 185 runs clinching their first under-19 Asia Cup final in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday.
This victory is proof of a significant improvement in Afghan cricket, a country that in June was inducted as an International Cricket Council full member.
This was the second time in the tournament that both teams faced each other, as Afghanistan defeated Pakistan by seven wickets in the group stage.
On Sunday, the Central Asian team batted first, scoring 248 runs for seven wickets in their alloted 50 overs.
Openers Rahman Gul and Ibrahim Zadran scored an impressive 61-run partnership.
However, it was Ikram Ali Khil who starred with the willow. He was left unbeaten on 107 runs, with 10 boundaries and two sixes.
In response, Pakistan scored 63 runs in 22.1 overs.
Bowler Mujeeb Zadran took the Pakistani batsmen apart, achieving five wickets for 13 runs in 7.1 overs.
Both Pakistani openers had been dismissed by the 3rd over. And, due to brilliant Afghan bowling, the Green Shirts were never allowed to launch a fightback.
This victory is Afghanistan’s first international success since being granted Test status.
Bowler Mujeeb Zadran took an overall of 20 wickets in the tournament, earning the Best Player of the Tournament recognition.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani posted a message on Twitter expressing his pride for the U-19 squad.
“Congratulations to our U19 heroes for a very comprehensive win. They are now the new Asian champions. I am very proud of them,” wrote Ghani.
Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, Chief Executive of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, also expressed his delight on Twitter.
“I feel proud to congratulate our nation on this very unique, rare and prideful occasion of our country's cricket as Afghanistan's U19 clinches historic win over Pakistan at the ACC U-19 Asia Cup and lifts the trophy for the first time in the history,” tweeted Abdullah.