Pakistan’s shocking loss to the UAE in the U19 Asia Cup 2023 eliminated them from the competition.

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Dubai – In a low-scoring thriller, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) shocked Pakistan by 11 runs and advanced to the ACC Men’s U19 Asia Cup 2023 final. Thanks to four wickets from Ubaid Shah, Pakistan U19 restricted UAE U19 to 193 in 47.5 overs. In response, Pakistan failed to reach the target by 12 runs, despite captain Saad Baig’s half-century.

The UAE U19 team began batting with Akshat Rai and Aryansh Sharma, but Ubaid Shah of Pakistan dealt an early blow by quickly dismissing Rai (6) for just six runs. The UAE U19 reached 75-3 in 17 overs when Amir Hassan removed Tanish Suri (12) and Mohammad Zeeshan removed Dhruv Parashar (12) soon after. In the very next over, Arafat Minhas struck, dismissing Maroof Merchant for a duck.

After setting up Sharma as the set batter on the crease, Ubaid went back on the attack. After making a valiant 70-ball-46, which included six fours, he was four runs short of a half-century. To add some stability to the innings, Ethan D’Souza and captain Aayan Afzal Khan put up a 54-run partnership for the sixth wicket. The partnership came to an end when Riazullah Khan caught D’Souza off his bowling after he had hit 37 off 63, thanks to an Ali Asfand delivery.

Aayan went on to hit a quick half-century (55, 57b, 7x4s), combatting the pressure mounted by the strong Pakistan U19 bowling attack. The UAE U19 captain was the last wicket to fall, with his team all out for 193. Ubaid got four scalps while Ali and Arafat both had two wickets each and Zeeshan and Amir had one apiece.

Pakistan U19 opening duo failed to provide a good start with the side reduced to 22-2 after 5.2 overs; Shamyl Hussain fell to Omid for a duck and Shahzaib Khan was stumped off Hardik’s bowling after just scoring 11. Azan Awais and Saad Baig led the recovery job for the team. Both scored 83 runs to take Pakistan U19 to a comfortable position.

Ammar Badami provided the breakthrough with Saad LBW after scoring 50 off 52 balls, hitting 4 fours and 1 six. Pakistan U19 felt their momentum break after the fall of their captain. Four quick wickets followed; Azan (41, 71b, 5x4s), Arafat (8) and Najab Khan (3) were run out and Riazullah (4) fell to Hardik as the team was reduced to 127-7 in 30 overs.

With 44 runs from the eighth wicket stand between Ali Asfand and Amir Hassan, Pakistan U19 was getting close to reaching their target. Amir (27), bowled by Dhruv Parashar, was caught, ending the partnership. In the final over, Pakistan U19 were bowled out for 182, with Ubaid being the final player to fall. On December 17, UAE U19 will play Bangladesh U19 in the championship match.

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