Ton-up Azan steers Pakistan U19 to 8-wicket win over India U19

DUBAI - The fifth game of ACC U19 Asia Cup saw Pakistan U19 inflict an eight-wicket defeat on India U19 at the ICC Cricket Academy Ground in Dubai. Azan Awais, following an undefeated half-century against Nepal, scored an unbeaten century to take the team over the line while chasing 260. 
Pakistan won the toss and elected to field first. Indian opening batter Adarsh Singh hit a half-century (62, 81b, 4x4s, 1x6) to recoup the momentum for his side following the loss of two wickets inside the first 12 overs. A 93-run stand between the captain Uday Saharan (60, 98b, 5x4s) and Singh helped restore control in the innings. 
However, when Singh fell to left-arm spinner Arafat Minhas in the 32nd over, the innings once again faltered. Pressure mounted on the Indian batting as successive wickets fell. A quick half-century by Sachin Dhas (58, 42b, 2x4s, 3x6s) took India U19 to a respectable total as they finished at 259-9 in 50 overs. 
The Pakistan pace attack delivered well with right-arm quick Mohammad Zeeshan picking up four wickets, having taken a six-wicket haul in the previous game. His fellow fast bowlers Amir Hassan and Ubaid Shah returned with two each as well. 
Pakistan U19 cruised to the target with much ease, doing so in 47 overs and eight wickets in the bag. Despite losing opening batter Shamyl Hussain cheaply in just the fifth over, Pakistan U19 remained in control of the chase. A 110-run partnership between Shahzaib Khan and Azan Awais ensured that Pakistan U19 dominated the Indian bowling after the first wicket fell. The partnership was broken in the 28th over when Shahzaib was caught off Murugan Abhishek’s bowling, after scoring a half-century (63, 88b, 4x4s, 3x6s). 
Pakistan captain Saad Baig, replacing Shahzaib at the crease, produced a quality half-century (68 not out, 51b, 8x4s, 1x6). Azan and Saad put up an undefeated partnership of 125 runs to see Pakistan U19 through.  
Azan was the star of the match as his superb century (105 not out, 130b, 10x4s) ensured that Pakistan U19 remain in a commanding position throughout the chase. For his extraordinary batting display, he was awarded player of the match. Pakistan U19 will now face Afghanistan U19 on 12 December at the same venue. The first ball will be bowled at 1030 PKT. 

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