Pakistan face Lanka, India take on Bangladesh in U-19 Asia Cup semis today

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India beat Afghanistan to reach the semifinals. (Asian Cricket Council Twitter)
India beat Afghanistan to reach the semifinals. (Asian Cricket Council Twitter)

The two semifinals and the final will be held behind closed doors

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Published: Wed 29 Dec 2021, 11:27 PM

After six days of intense cricket, the stage is set for the semifinals of the ninth edition of the ACC Under-19 Asia Cup.

Pakistan and Bangladesh topped their respective groups. It was an unbeaten run for Pakistan in Group A beating Afghanistan, India and UAE. Bangladesh topped Group B beating Kuwait and Nepal for a higher run rate than Sri Lanka, who finished second.

The clash between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka to decide the table toppers had to called off on Tuesday after two officials tested positive for Covid-19.

In the semifinals on Thursday (9:30am UAE Time), Pakistan will take on Sri Lanka at the ICC Academy ground while Bangladesh will meet second-placed India at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.

The two semifinals and the final will be held behind closed doors.

The close contests among these four Test-playing nations in the group stage clashes could result in an intense battle for a slot in the final to be held at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Friday.

The final will be telecast live by Star Sports Network.

Pakistan had to overcome strong challenges from Afghanistan, India and UAE to top their group. Speaking about their prospects in the semifinal, Pakistan skipper Qasim Akram said: “We have reached the semifinal unbeaten and we want to extend this winning run. Our batsmen and bowlers have been contributing when it matters and that is what has resulted in pulling off these victories. We will give our best and keep winning.”

Though India beat UAE easily by 154 runs, they lost to Pakistan and also had to fight hard to beat Afghanistan by four wickets.

Indian skipper Yash Dhull said they would play the semifinal with a positive frame of mind.

“We have decided to play all matches by remaining positive. It is important not to crack under pressure and play our roles. If all of us can play positively, we can keep winning,” Dhull said.

Sri Lankan skipper Dunith Wellalage believes that his team’s all-round show can win them the semifinal match too.

“Our batsmen are in tremendous form hitting centuries, and our bowlers led by pacer Mateesha Pathirana have been doing a good job. So as a team we have done well and will try and continue to produce a good show,” Wellalage said.

Fans can expect some great battles on Thursday as all four teams will be giving their best to reach the final. (Courtesy Asian Cricket Council)

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