Recent Match Report – Afghanistan vs India Final 2023

Rain disrupted the men’s final at the Asian Games, meaning only 18.2 overs were possible before play was abandoned. India were awarded the gold medal due to being the higher seeded team, in what proved to be an unfavorable end to a competitive tournament.

Earlier in the afternoon, India had won the toss and decided to bowl first. Arshdeep Singh Set the tone early, as he did in the semi-final, exploiting the conditions and moving the ball wonderfully both in the air and off the surface. However, it was Shivam Dubey who delivered the first blow, forcing Zubaidi Akbari to mistime his slog to mid-on in the second over.

Arshdeep got his reward in the very next over, forcing Mohammad Shehzad to make room and having him caught-back. Shahzad was unhappy with this decision. His unhappiness was not entirely unwarranted, with replays later showing that the ball had touched his right bicep rather than the bat or glove.

Afghanistan suffered another blow due to the unnecessary run out of Noor Ali Zadran in the fourth over. He pulled the ball towards deep square leg, but was a little lazy in running, eventually falling inches short of his ground at the striker’s end in his attempt to complete the second run.

Officer Zazai and Shahidullah Made a partnership of 37 runs for the fourth wicket and looked ready to increase the scoring rate in the middle overs. However, Zazai could not read the beautifully disguised Ravi Bishnoi Googly in the 10th over. The ball pitched outside off on a length and bounced back, hitting the inside edge and hitting the stumps. Shahbaz Ahmed dismissed Karim Janat an over later, leaving Afghanistan reeling at 52-5 after 10.5 overs.
Afghanistan once did its job as captain Gulbadin Naib Went out. He showed patience in his innings and made a partnership of 60 runs with Shahidullah in just 45 balls. The pair rotated the strike and were quite active in pouncing on any loose delivery.

Shahidullah scored 49 runs from 43 balls, while Naib scored 27 runs from 24 balls, helping Afghanistan post a total of 112-5 before the rain came. Bishnoi was the best bowler for India, conceding only 12 runs and taking one wicket in his four overs. Arshdeep, Dubey and Shahbaz took one wicket each.

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