Men's Asian Games Digest

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Indian team celebrate after claiming gold in the Asian Games Men's Cricket section
Indian team celebrate after claiming gold in the Asian Games Men's Cricket section © AFP

India clinch gold after washout

India have clinched the gold medal in the Asian Games after the final against Afghanistan got washed out. There was a bit of rain after the bronze medal match got over and as a result, India had no hesitation in opting to bowl after winning the toss. Shivam Dube and Arshdeep Singh struck early in the powerplay and Noor Ali got run out as Afghanistan were struggling at 12/3.

It was then Ravi Bishnoi's turn to strike after a brief recovery as Afghanistan were cautiously placed at 50/4 at the halfway mark. That quickly became 53/5 as Shahbaz Ahmed opened his account to dent Afghanistan further. They did stage a spirited fightback post that as Shahidullah Kamal struck some timely boundaries to add over 50 alongside skipper Gulbadin Naib.

However, with ten balls still remaining in the innings, rain had arrived with Afghanistan at 112/5. The rain was then relentless ensuring play never resumed which forced the abandonment. With India being the higher ranked side, they were declared the winners with Afghanistan settling for the silver medal. By clinching gold, India completed a double with the women's team finishing top as well.

Brief scores: Afghanistan 112/5 in 18.2 overs (Shahidullah Kamal 49*, Gulbadin Naib 27*; Ravi Bishnoi 1/12) vs India - No result due to rain

Bangladesh secure bronze after thrilling last-ball finish

Bangladesh vs Pakistan, 3rd Place Playoff

In a thrilling finish to the rain-hit Bronze medal match in Hangzhou, Bangladesh secured the medal with a last-ball victory against Pakistan.

With 20 required off the final over, Yasir Ali got 14 off the first three deliveries bowled by Sufiyan Muqeem, including two sixes. This was followed by a couple before Yasir was bowled off the fifth delivery. Rakibul Hasan, who needed to score a boundary to win the game for Bangladesh, pulled it off with a hit over midwicket as the Bangladesh men's team emulated the women who had also defeated Pakistan in the Bronze medal match.

The start of the game was delayed due to rain and when it eventually got underway, Pakistan got to bat only five overs in which they managed 48/1 before the rain returned.

The match was reduced to five overs per side, with Bangladesh needing to get 65 as per the DLS revised target. Arshad Iqbal had them in early trouble in the chase as he dismissed Zakir Hasan and Saif Hassan for ducks. Afif Hossain revived them with a 11-ball 20 before Yasir took them to the edge, and finally, Rakibul pulled off a heroic last-ball finish to clinch the Bronze medal.

Brief scores: Pakistan 48/1 in 5 overs (Mirza Baig 32*; Rakibul Hasan 1-12) lost to Bangladesh 65/4 in 5 overs (Yasir Ali 34; Arshad Iqbal 3-14) by 6 wickets (DLS method).

Semifinal 1: India vs Bangladesh

A clinical performance with both ball and bat meant India registered an emphatic nine-wicket victory against Bangladesh to book a spot in the final of the Asian Games. R Sai Kishore and Washington Sundar bagged five wickets between them to restrict Bangladesh to a paltry 96/9. Tilak Varma then struck an unbeaten 26-ball 55 and in the company of skipper Ruturaj Gaikwad (40* off 26) powered India into the gold medal clash.

Having been asked to bat, Bangladesh got off to a decent start as the spinners ran through the top order. Sai Kishore picked up the wicket of Mahmudul Hasan Joy while Sundar sent Saif Hassan and Zakir Hasan back to the hut in quick succession. Parvez Hossain Emon, who managed a couple of sixes, got out to Tilak Varma as Bangladesh managed only 40/4 at the halfway stage of their innings. Rakibul Hasan scored a brisk 14 while Jaker Ali came up with 24 not out to take Bangladesh past 90 after the team had slipped to 81/8.

India lost Yashasvi Jaiswal without a run on the board as he was caught at short fine leg off Ripon Mondol in the opening over of the chase. Gaikwad and Tilak then got into the act, dealing in four and sixes, with the India skipper striking two maximums and as many fours in a 21-run over from Mondol. Tilak hit two sixes in an over off Mrittunjoy Chowdhury while Rakibul too proved expensive as India raced to 67 at the end of the fifth over. The end was a mere formality as Tilak added to his sixes tally, finishing with six hits across the fence to go with his two fours while Gaikwad struck the winning boundary as he finished with 4 fours and 3 sixes.

Brief scores: Bangladesh 96/9 in 20 overs (Jaker Ali 24*; R Sai Kishore 3-12, Washington Sundar 2-15) lost to India 97/1 in 9.2 overs (Tilak Varma 55*, Ruturaj Gaikwad 40*; Ripon Mondol 1-26) by 9 wickets.

Semifinal 2: Pakistan vs Afghanistan

Afghanistan stunned Pakistan in the second semifinal to set up a gold medal clash against India. Asked to bat first, Pakistan did make a decent start scoring 44 in the powerplay for the loss of a solitary wicket. However, things went south fairly quickly post that phase as the next two overs fetched two wickets. The middle order failed to deliver in unison as Qais Ahmed picked two wickets to dent them.

From 49/1, Pakistan were reduced to 75/6 in stunning fashion. From thereon, they could have easily been bowled out for less than 100 before their tail dragged them to 115. Even though Afghanistan raced to 35/1 in just four overs, Pakistan tried to fight back with Arafat Minhas picking two wickets in one over but Noor Ali Zadran's 33-ball 39 steadied Afghanistan in the chase.

Just when they were cruising, one more twist was left in the tale as Afghanistan went through a mini slump in which they lost three wickets for just 13 runs. At 84/6, Afghanistan needed 32 more runs to clinch the contest. Skipper Gulbadin Naib stepped up when it mattered the most and hit two sixes and a four in the 18th over to stun the Asian giants and guarantee his side at least a silver medal.

Brief scores: Pakistan 115 in 18 overs (Omair Yousuf 24; Fareed Ahmed 3/15, Qais Ahmed 2/11) lost to Afghanistan 116/6 in 17.5 overs (Noor Ahmed 39, Gulbadin Naib 26*; Arafat Minhas 2/11) by 4 wickets

Quarter-final 4: Bangladesh vs Malaysia

Bangladesh pipped Malaysia by two runs after being dealt an almighty scare in the fourth quarter-final at the Pingfeng Campus Cricket Field. Virandeep Singh's gutsy 52 went in vain, as Afif Hossein bowled an ice-cool last over to get Bangladesh home.

After winning the toss and batting first, Bangladesh were in deep trouble early on as the opening bowlers got them in a stranglehold, toppling the top three within three overs, with only three runs on the board. After this shocking collapse, Afif Hossain and Saif Hassan got together and put on a stand of 38. Hassan reached his fifty after Afif's dismissal and continued the good work with Shahadat Hossain, putting on 45 runs for the fifth wicket. Hassan and Jaker Ali took Bangladesh to 116-5 - a below-par total on the wicket in this tournament.

Malaysia lost early wickets in their run-chase too, collapsing to 18-3 after making it to 14 without losing a wicket. Afif and Ripon Mondol were the wreckers-in-chief, picking up three wickets each, and despite a resolute half-century from Virandeep Singh, Afif's final over sealed the deal for Bangladesh, as they edged Malaysia by 2 runs, avoiding the biggest upset of the tournament. Bangladesh will now face India in the first semi-final on Friday (October 6).

Brief Scores: Bangladesh 116-5in 20 overs (Saif Hassan 50*, Pavandeep Singh 2-12) beat Malaysia 114-8in 20 overs (Virandeep Singh 52, Afif Hossain 3-11, Ripon Mondol 3-14)by 2 runs.

Quarter-final 3: Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan

Afghanistan pipped Sri Lanka in a cliffhanger by 8 runs in the third quarter-final of the Asian Games to edge their way into the semi-final stage. The win came on the back of an uncharacteristic but ultimately necessary fifty from Noor Ali Zadran and tight and economical three-wicket hauls from Gulbadin Naib and Qais Ahmad.

Sri Lanka won the toss and opted to bowl first, and tasted quick success as Nuwan Thushara knocked over Seqidullah Atal early on. A half-century stand between Mohammad Shahzad and Noor Ali Zadran set the platform for Afghanistan, before another 37-run partnership between Zadran and Shahidullah consolidated the innings. However, from 92-2, Afghanistan lost eight wickets in just 24 balls, for 24 runs, to collapse to 116 all-out in 18.3 overs. Nuwan Thushara led the demolition with a four-wicket haul.

In what should have been a facile run-chase, Sri Lanka had brief success to start with, scoring 19 runs in the first couple of overs, before wickets started to fall regularly. Not a single partnership crossed the 24-run mark, as Gulbadin Naib hurried the batters with seam movement, at both ends of the innings, with Qais Ahmad employing trickery and deceit to pick up wickets in the middle. In the end, Sri Lanka fell 9 runs short of their target as Afghanistan coasted into the semi-final, where they face Pakistan on Friday (October 6).

Brief Scores: Afghanistan 116 all-outin 18.3 overs (Noor Ali Zadran 51, Nuwan Thushara 4-17)beat Sri Lanka 108-10in 19.1 overs (Sahan Arachchige 22, Qais Ahmad 3-16, Gulbadin Naib 3-28)by 8 runs

Quarter-final 2: Pakistan vs Hong Kong

Pakistan clinically defeated Hong Kong in the second quarter-final of the Men's Asian Games at the Pingfeng Campus Cricket Field on Tuesday, October 3. The win came after a rearguard batting effort from Aamer Jamal and a typically ruthless bowling performance.

Hong Kong won the toss and opted to bowl first, and it proved to be the right decision, as Pakistan lost quick wickets up front. Ayush Shukla accounted for the first two wickets, of Mirza Baig and Rohail Nazir before the other bowlers joined the act. Pakistan's batters kept getting starts but lost wickets at regular intervals, finding themselves at 73-6. However, it was then that cameos from Asif Ali, Arafat Minhas and Aamer Kamal rescued Pakistan and lifted them to 160 all-out in 20 overs. Aayush Shukla was the pick of the bowlers with four wickets.

In the run-chase Arafat Minhas picked up the openers, setting Hong Kong back early. A 29 from Babar Hayat lent Hong Kong some hope, but a collapse from 54-2 to 63-8, 6 wickets for 9 runs, ensured that Hong Kong could never recover from the rut and didn't even get close in the end, folding for a sub-hundred total in the end. They ended up losing by 58 runs and were knocked out of the tournament as Pakistan advanced to the semi-finals.

Brief Scores: Pakistan 160 all-outin 20 overs (Aamer Jamal 41, Ayush Shukla 4-49, Mohammad Ghazanfar 3-26) beat Hong Kong 92 all-out in 18.5 overs (Babar Hayat 29, Khushdil Shah 3-13)by 68 runs

Quarter-final 1: India vs Nepal

India defeated Nepal in the first quarter-final of the Men's Asian Games competition by 23 runs at the Pingfeng Campus Cricket field in Hangzou. Yashasvi Jaiswal's aggressive hundred set things up for India with a 200+ total, despite Nepal giving them a run for their money in a gallant run-chase.

After winning the toss and opting to bat first, India were off to a fiery start going at a run-rate of over 10 rpo in the first ten overs, but Ruturaj Gaikwad was the first to depart, having contributed just 25 in a stand of 103 with Jaiswal. Tilak Varma and Jitesh Sharma struggled to score, and India had a brief collapse of 4 wickets for 47 runs, as Jaiswal departed for a 49-ball hundred. However, a fiery stand of 52 runs off 22 balls between Shivam Dube and Rinku Singh got India to 202-4 in 20 overs.

In the run-chase, Indian pacers Arshdeep Singh, Avesh Khan and Shivam Dube struggled to stay economical on a small ground, but did pick up five wickets for a whopping 112 runs in 11 overs between them. However, it was the spinners that did the damage, as Ravi Bishnoi and Sai Kishore picked up 4 wickets for 49 runs between them in 8 overs. Nepal were aggressive from the get-go but lost regular wickets, and eventually, they lived and died by the sword, falling 24 runs short of their target, and as a result, getting knocked out of the tournament.

Brief Scores: India 202-4in 20 overs (Yashasvi Jaiswal 100, Rinku Singh 37*, Dipendra Singh 2-31)beat Nepal 179-9in 20 overs (Dipendra Singh Airee 32, Ravi Bishnoi 3-24, Avesh Khan 3-32) by 23 runs.




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