Pakistan captain Baig eyes U19 Asia Cup glory after they brush Afghanistan aside

Their 83-run win makes it hat-trick of victories while India thrash Nepal in day's other game

Pakistan's Saad Baig has called for more of the same after his team beat Afghanistan by 83 runs in the Under-19 Asia Cup at the ICC Academy in Dubai. Chris Whiteoak / The National
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Saad Baig urged his Pakistan side not to let up after claiming their third hefty win in the Under-19 Asia Cup in Dubai.

They completed a clean sweep of group wins as they beat Afghanistan by 83 runs at the ICC Academy on Tuesday. That followed on from them steamrollering India and Japan earlier in the week.

They will face the second-placed side from the other pool – which could potentially be the UAE – in the last four on Friday.

“The tournament is not over yet, hopefully we have two matches left, as our aim is to win the Asia Cup,” Baig, the captain, said.

The tournament had already been highly productive for Pakistan’s batters, and they had a new stand out against the Afghans.

Shamyl Hussain had scored a duck and eight in his previous two trips to the crease in this tournament, but won the player of the match award for his 54-ball 75 at the top of the order this time.

“I missed out on a double hundred, everyone has been telling me,” Shamyl said.

“That’s OK. I will learn from this. This is a really good match for me. After the semi-finals and hopefully the final, hopefully I can carry on this form.”

Japan, who the UAE face on Wednesday, have yet to reach three figures in total so far in the competition. But Nepal suffered the biggest defeat so far in the event when they went up against India in the other game of the day.

While Pakistan and Afghanistan stretched their game until late in the afternoon, the game on the adjacent field was over before lunch.

Raj Limbani, the medium pacer, took seven for 13 as Nepal were bowled out for 52 in 22.1 overs. No Nepal batter reached double figures. India did not lose a wicket and needed just 7.1 overs in wrapping up the most comprehensive of wins.

It meant Pakistan topped the group and India finished second. As such, the UAE are probably playing for the chance to face Pakistan in the semi-finals.

Having beaten Sri Lanka on Monday, the UAE must beat Japan in their final pool game to stand a chance of progressing. If they achieve that, and Bangladesh beat Sri Lanka, it will guarantee they advance.

However, if Sri Lanka win, the UAE will need a significant run rate swing in beating Japan if they are to make it into second place in the group.

Ahead of the final day, Bangladesh have four points and a net run-rate of 2.688. Sri Lanka and the UAE are tied on two points, with the former having an NRR of 1.708 and the hosts -0.504.

Updated: December 12, 2023, 2:28 PM