Indian colts emerge champs
Karnataka's Rahul shines with unbeaten 93 in crushing win over Pak
India U-23 lifted the ACC Emerging Trophy tournament after thrashing arch-rivals Pakistan by nine wickets in the final with opener KL Rahul being the star of a lop-sided chase here at the Kallang Ground on Sunday.
One of cricket’s most famous rivalries was reduced to a one-sided contest as the Indian Colts chased down the 160-run target in just 33.4 overs.
In the bowling department, Baba Aparajith shone with a three-wicket burst, while medium-pacers Suryakumar Yadav and Sandeep Sharma grabbed two wickets each.
Rahul missed out on what would have been a well-deserved century by just seven runs but stitched an unbroken 132-run stand for the second wicket with Manprit Juneja as India rounded off their impressive run in the tournament.
India suffered an early blow in their run chase when Unmukt Chand was caught by wicket-keeper Mohammad Rizwan behind the stumps off Raza Hasan for 15 runs.
Rahul and Juneja then combined well and put up a fine batting display to take the team past 100 at the end of the 23rd over.
In the process, Rahul reached his half-century with the help of eight boundaries as the Pakistani bowlers looked clueless defending a small total on a lively Kallang pitch.
Both showed maturity in their approach and never went for risky shots. They produced a magnificent show of batting which saw them mix caution with aggression.
Juneja provided a fitting end to the proceedings with a six over deep midwicket as the Indian side celebrated a deserved victory.
Earlier, Pakistan had an early advantage to score the runs after winning the toss but they kept on losing wickets at regular intervals.
Pakistan suffered early blows when openers Mohammad Rizwan (21) and Babar Azam (7) fell to pacers Warrier and Sharma respectively.
Usman Salahuddin (15) and Umar Waheed (41) steadied the ship with a fifty-plus stand for the third wicket but both fell in quick succession.
Brief scores: Pakistan U-23: 159 all out in 47 overs (Umar Waheed 41, Usman Qadir 33; Baba Aparajith 3-28, Sandeep Sharma 2-20, Suryakumar Yadav 2-20 ) lt to India U-23: 160/1 in 33.4 overs (KL Rahul 93 n.o., Manprit Juneja 51 n.o.).