In the grand finale of the ACC Emerging Teams Asia Cup 2023, Pakistan A defeated India A comprehensively with a margin of 128 runs at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo, on July 23, Sunday. The defending champions Men in Green were able to successfully retain their title against the Indians, the inaugural champions of the tournament, which was played for the first time in 2013.
The captain of India A, Yash Dhull had won the toss earlier in the afternoon and decided to put the opposition into bat first. Pakistan A openers Saim Ayub and Sahibzada Farhan gave their side a fantastic start, putting together a 121 run opening stand, after completing their respective fifties. Earlier in the innings, Rajvardhan Hangargekar had Saim Ayub dismissed on 17, but unfortunately for him, he had failed to keep his front foot behind the popping crease, bowling a no-ball at the most inopportune time.
Then, Tayyab Tahir took over the proceedings for Pakistan A, scoring a magnificent century, finishing up his innings on 108 off 71 deliveries, with 12 fours and four maximums, to propel his side to a massive total of 352/8 in their allotted 50 overs.
In their run chase, India A started well with the openers Sai Sudharshan and Abhieshek Sharma putting up a 68 run stand in 8.2 overs. At one particular time, the Men in Blue were 157/3 in the 25th over, keeping the target well within reach, but then, their batting lineup fell away in a heap. Eventually, they were bundled out for 224 in 40 overs, with Sufiyaan Muqeem picking up three crucial wickets.
As the loss for India A seemed imminent, the fans started flooding Twitter, letting their frustration known about the bad state of the team, especially during the night of the final. Some of the best reactions on Twitter for the victory of Pakistan A are as under:
Coincidentally, the senior players of India will be playing against their opposing counterparts from Pakistan in their Asia Cup 2023 opener in Sri Lanka in just over a month's time on September 2, at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Kandy.