CPL T20 2023

Pakistan Shaheens defeat India A to lift Emerging Asia Cup

Pakistan Shaheens emerged victorious against their arch-rivals, India A, in a thrilling contest in Colombo, Sri Lanka on Sunday, claiming the title of the Emerging Asia Cup with a convincing 128-run margin. India A, tasked with chasing a target of 353 runs, faltered and was bowled out for 224 runs in just 40 overs.

The star of the match was spinner Sufiyan Muqeem, who caused significant troubles for the Men in Blue by taking three crucial wickets, including those of opener Abhishek Sharma (who scored 61 runs), captain Yash Dull (39 runs off 41 balls), and Harshit Rana (13 runs). Muqeem finished his spell with figures of 66 runs conceded in 10 overs. Mehran Mumtaz, Mohammad Wasim, and Arshad Iqbal also contributed by claiming two wickets each for Pakistan.

Earlier in the game, Pakistan A, after being asked to bat first, posted a formidable total of 353 runs on the scoreboard, courtesy of an impressive century by middle-order batter Tayyab Tahir. Despite losing five wickets for just 187 runs, Tahir’s aggressive innings of 108 runs off 71 balls, including 12 fours and four sixes, powered Pakistan to a strong position. Openers Sahibzada Farhan (65 off 62) and Saim Ayub (59 off 51) had also provided a solid foundation by adding 121 runs for the first wicket. However, India A made a comeback by taking quick wickets in the middle overs.

During the final, Pakistan A made a change in their lineup, with Mehran Mumtaz replacing Amad Butt. India A, on the other hand, remained unchanged from the semifinals.

In the previous matches of the Emerging Asia Cup, India A defeated Bangladesh A by 51 runs in the second semifinal, while Pakistan A secured a spot in the final by beating Sri Lanka A by 60 runs.

Notably, ahead of the final clash, Pakistani skipper Babar Azam paid a visit to the Pakistan Shaheens, boosting the morale of the young players and providing them with much-needed encouragement and guidance.

Lineups: India A: B Sai Sudharsan, Abhishek Sharma, Nikin Jose, Yash Dhull (capt), Riyan Parag, Nishant Sindhu, Dhruv Jurel (wk), Manav Suthar, Yuvrajsinh Dodiya, Harshit Rana, Rajvardhan Hangargekar Pakistan A: Saim Ayub, Sahibzada Farhan, Omair Yousuf, Tayyab Tahir, Qasim Akram, Mohammad Haris (capt, wk), Mubasir Khan, Mehran Mumtaz, Mohammad Wasim, Arshad Iqbal, Sufiyan Muqeem

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