India overpowered Pakistan at Emerging Teams Cup

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All rounder Baba Aparajith's three wickets and opening batsman KL Rahul's unbeaten 93 helped India thrash Pakistan in the final of the ACC Emerging Teams Cup tournament.

The game turned on it's head after a solid Pakistan start, when they lost seven wickets for 19 runs to slip to 107 for 9. Aparajith, who is India's leading wicket-taker in the tournament with seven, was one of the main reasons for the collapse – he dismissed Hammad Azam and Mohammad Waqas in successive overs, before flighting the ball on the leg stump for Bilawal Bhatti to hit straight to Ashok Menaria at long-on, to restrict Pakistan to 159.

Needing less than 3.50 an over, India were in complete control as Rahul, the leading run-scorer of the tournament with 233 at an average of 77.66, struck 11 fours and one six to complete the victory with more than 16 overs to spare.

Pakistan, electing to bat first, got off to an unhurried start as the openers Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam added 32 for the first wicket. Rizwan appeared to be in good touch, striking two fours off an over from Sandeep Warrier, but threw away his wicket in the ninth over by lofting a delivery from medium-pacer Sandeep Sharma straight to mid-off for another easy catch for Menaria. Warrier struck in the very next over, inducing an edge from Azam to the wicketkeeper Smit Patel, to leave Pakistan at 34 for 2 after 10 overs.

Umar Waheed, batting at No. 3, stabilised the innings with a 54-run partnership for the third wicket with Usman Salahuddin. Waheed particularly targeted the spin of Menaria, smashing all four of his fours off the left-arm spinner's bowling. But tight and incisive bowling curtailed Pakistan's scoring rate, and Waheed was eventually run-out in the 30th over, trying to sneak an unlikely second run. It continued the collapse from which Pakistan couldn't recover, despite a late onslaught from Usman Qadir, who struck four fours and one six during his 32-ball 33.

India were solid in their run-chase, and Unmukt Chand's dismissal in the sixth over did little to change Pakistan's fortunes, as Rahul and Manprit Jadeja struck a total of 14 fours and two sixes between them, and put on an unbeaten partnership of 132 for the second wicket to ease India to victory.

Courtesy: ESPN

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