Kuala Lumpur: Afghanistan pulled off an upset at the Kinrara Academy Oval on Tuesday, overhauling Bangladesh's total by seven wickets in a Duckworth-Lewis win that took them into the semi-finals of the Under-19 Asia Cup. The victory put Afghanistan second in Group B, setting up a semi-final clash against Pakistan on June 28.
Chasing a D/L revised target of 220 in 42 overs – after keeping Bangladesh to 240 for 9 in 50 overs – Afghanistan were powered home by their top order. The openers Afsar Khan (46) and Javed Ahmadi (71) put on 77 before Ahmadi, also the team's captain, shared a 99-run stand with Shabir Noori (57). Noori's 42-ball innings ended in the 37th over, after which Najibullah Zadran thumped 33 from 18 balls as the target was chased with nine balls remaining.
Earlier, Ahmad had taken 3 for 25 from ten overs to restrict Bangladesh to an attainable target, and he was adjudged Man of the Match. Bangladesh's innings contained three contributions in the forties and another 30 from Mosaddek Hossain, but no batsman went on to get a big score.
India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka also reached the semi-finals of the tournament.
In the other Group A fixture, Pakistan completed a crushing win over Malaysia. Having opted to bat, Pakistan sped to 302 for 4 on the back of solid contributions from Sami Aslam (47), skipper Babar Azam (68), Umar Waheed (76) and Mohammad Nawaz (53*). What followed was an abysmal reply from the hosts, who were bundled out for a paltry 53 to lose by 249 runs. Only one player reached double-figures as each of the five Pakistan bowlers employed enjoyed success in the wickets' column. Nawaz followed his 33-ball half-century with a haul of 3 for 9 from nine overs to claim the Man-of-the-Match award.
In another rain-hit game at the Royal Selangor Club, Sri Lanka brushed aside Qatar to reach the semi-finals. Pabasara Waduge's 76, inclusive of ten fours, formed the fulcrum of Sri Lanka's 124 for 2 in 26 overs and revised target of 188 from 26 overs proved out of Qatar's reach. Qatar never recovered from being 20 for 3, and lost three wickets with the score at 46 before the last wicket fell off the final ball of the match.
Group A: Pakistan U-19 302/4 in 50 overs (Sami Aslam 47, Babar Azam 68, Imam-ul-Haq 50, Umar Waheed 76, Mohammad Nawaz 53*) beat Malaysia U-19 53 all out in 30.3 overs (Azizullah 2/6, Mir Hamza 2/14, Mohammad Nawaz 3/9) by 249 runs.
Group B: Afghanistan U-19 (revised target 220 in 42): 223/3 in 40.3 overs (Afsar Khan 46, Javed Ahmadi 71, Shabir Noori 57, Najibullah Zadran 33*; Mosaddek Hossain 2/30) beat Bangladesh U-19 240/9 in 50 overs (Soumya Sarkar 42, Salman Hossain 43, Mosaddek Hossain 30, Nurul Hasan 40; Aftab Alam 3/51, Javed Ahmadi 3/25, Shabir Noori 2/37) by seven wickets.
Sri Lanka U-19 124/2 in 26 overs (Pabasara Waduge 76, Sebastian Perera 28*) beat Qatar U-19 100/8 in 26 overs (Tharindu Kaushal 3/29) by 88 runs.