Aamir Jamal’s heroics help Pakistan roar into Asian Games semifinals

LAHORE - Aamir Jamal’s explosive batting cam­eo played a pivotal role in Pakistan’s triumph as they secured a com­manding 68-run victory over Hong Kong in the 19th Asian Games Men’s Cricket quarterfinals played at the Zhejiang University of Technology Cricket Field in Hangzhou, China. 

Hong Kong won the toss and chose to field first, and Pakistan faced some early setbacks in their innings. However, they managed to post a competitive total of 160 runs, largely thanks to Aamir Ja­mal’s incredible hitting in the lat­ter part of the innings. Aamir, who walked into bat in the 17th over, took just 16 balls to score 41 runs, including four towering sixes and two boundaries. 

Earlier in the innings, veteran Asif Ali and debutant Arafat Minhas contributed a crucial partnership of 36 runs for the seventh wicket. Asif (25 off 21 balls) and Arafat (25 off 16 balls) were the second-highest run-scorers after Aamir. Hong Kong’s bowlers, especially Ayush Shukla with four wickets and Mohammad Ghazanfar with three, put up a com­mendable performance. 

In response, Pakistan’s spinners took center stage, completely dominating the game. The Hong Kong bats­men struggled against the spin trio of Arafat, Sufiyan Muqeem, Qasim Akram, and Khush­dil Shah. Khushdil Shah bagged three wickets, while the other three spinners claimed two wickets each. Babar Hayat was the top scorer for Hong Kong, contributing 29 runs off 27 balls with three boundaries and two sixes. 

With this impressive victory, Pakistan advance to the second semifinal scheduled for Friday, Oc­tober 6. They will face the winner of the third quarter-final between Afghanistan and Sri Lanka, set to be played today (Wednesday).

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