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Under-19 Asia Cup: Team India beats Afghanistan by 4 wickets in semifinals

New Delhi: Raj Bawa and Kaushal Tambe put on an unbroken 65-run stand for the seventh wicket as India advanced to the semifinals of the Under-19 Asia Cup tournament after registering a four-wicket win over Afghanistan here on Monday. Bawa (43 not out) and Tambe (35 not out) took charge as India struggled for 197 for six but both played their part well as India chased down a target of 260 with 10 balls to spare.

Youth team in the semifinals

Earlier, in-form opener Harnoor Pannu (65) and his partner Ankrish Raghuvanshi (35) gave the team a good start by adding 104 runs for the first wicket. In the middle order, however, skipper Yash Dhul (26) and Nishant Sindhu (19) failed to convert a good start into big scores after which Bawa and Tambe took charge. India are second in Group A after Pakistan in this win. Pakistan have won all their matches. In the semi-final, India will play the winner of the match between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

Winning a thrilling match

The winner of Tuesday’s match between the two will be determined by the team at the top of Group B. India finished second in their group, so they will play the first-placed team in the second group in the semifinals. After being invited to bat first, Afghanistan scored 259 for four with Suliman Safi’s patient 73 and Ejaz Ahmed Ahmedzai’s unbeaten 86 off 68 balls.

Chasing a challenging target, India got off to a good start, scoring 44 runs for the loss of six wickets in six overs. Harnoor and Raghubangshi kept bringing the ball to the boundary line. Harnoor hit eight fours and Raghuvanshi six fours in his innings. Left-arm spinner Nur Ahmed (4 for 43) broke the tie by dismissing Raghubangshi. Then Harnoor and Sheikh Rashid (six) also returned to the pavilion, scoring 116 runs for three wickets.

Captain Dhul and Sindhu tried to improve the innings. Khalil Khalil dismissed Sindhu to take the score to 162 for four. Nur Ahmed took his third wicket by dismissing Dul and then Aradhya Yadav (12) caused a stir in the Indian camp. In such a situation, Bawa and Tambe patiently took their team to the last four. Maren Tambe won the boundary.

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