Tournament favourites Indian cricket team recorded a dominant seven-wicket win over Afghanistan in the opening match of the ACC U19 Asia Cup 2023 on Friday, December 8. Pakistan also registered an easy win over Nepal in the following game to take the lead in Group A.
Uday Saharan won the toss at ICC Academy in Dubai and elected to field first. Indian bowlers proved their superiority with the early wicket of opener Wafiullah Tarakhil but Afghanistan staged a brilliant comeback to balance the game. Opener Jamshid Zadran scored 43 runs off 75 balls to show signs of a big total for Afghanistan.
But Maharashtra’s 18-year-old batting all-rounder Arshin Kulkarni took three big wickets to bowl out Afghanistan on just 173 runs in 50 overs. Arshin, right-arm pacer, took three for 29 while Raj Lambani picked three for 46 to showcase their potential with a ball.
After sensational bowling, Arshin also impressed everyone with his batting skills by top-scoring with 70* runs off 105 balls while opening an innings. India lost opener Adarsh Singh and Rudra Patel early but Arshin’s brilliant fifty and unbeaten 48 off 53 from Mumbai’s Musheer Khan helped India record an easy chase with seven wickets and 75 balls remaining.
Meanwhile, Pakistan also kicked off their campaign with a big seven-wicket win over Nepal in the second game. The 17-year-old right-arm pacer Mohammad Zeeshan took six wickets for just 19 to bowl out Nepal on just 152 balls. Then captain Saad Baig and top-order batter Azan Awais registered half-centuries to help Pakistan register a huge win. India and Pakistan will clash against each other in their next Group A game at ICC Academy on Sunday.
India U19 Playing XI: Uday Saharan (c), Adarsh Singh, Arshin Kulkarni, Rudra Patel, Sachin Dhas, Aravelly Avanish (wk), Saumy Pandey, Murugan Abhishek, Raj Limbani, Naman Tiwari, Musheer Khan
Afghanistan U19 Playing XI: Jamshid Zadran, Wafiullah Tarakhil, Sohil Khan Zurmatai, Naseer Khan Maroofkhil (c), Bashir Ahmad, Wahidullah Zadran, Mohammad Younus Zadran, Numan Shah (wk), Rahimullah Zurmati, Khalel Ahmad, Akram Mohammadzai