India Seizes Asian Games Gold in Rain-Interrupted Final; Bangladesh’s Last-Ball Drama Earns Bronze
India Clinches Gold After Washout in Asian Games Final
India secured the gold medal in a rather unconventional fashion at the Asian Games after the highly-anticipated final against Afghanistan was washed out due to rain. The decision to opt for bowling after winning the toss proved to be pivotal, as India’s bowlers delivered early blows, leaving Afghanistan struggling at a mere 12/3.
Shivam Dube and Arshdeep Singh’s impressive performances in the powerplay further compounded Afghanistan’s woes. A run-out of Noor Ali added to the Afghan team’s miseries. With cautious play, Afghanistan reached 50/4 at the halfway mark, but their recovery was short-lived as Shahbaz Ahmed dismissed a crucial wicket, reducing them to 53/5.
Despite a spirited fightback led by Shahidullah Kamal and skipper Gulbadin Naib, rain abruptly interrupted the game with Afghanistan at 112/5 and ten balls still remaining in their innings. The relentless rain forced the match to be abandoned. Given India’s higher ranking, they were declared the winners, leaving Afghanistan with the silver medal. India celebrated a double victory as their women’s team also clinched the gold.
Brief Scores: Afghanistan 112/5 in 18.2 overs (Shahidullah Kamal 49, Gulbadin Naib 27; Ravi Bishnoi 1/12) vs. India – No result due to rain.
Bangladesh Secures Bronze After Thrilling Last-Ball Finish
In a thrilling conclusion to the rain-affected Bronze medal match in Hangzhou, Bangladesh emerged victorious with a last-ball triumph against Pakistan. With 20 runs needed from the final over, Yasir Ali played a crucial role, scoring 14 runs off the first three deliveries bowled by Sufiyan Muqeem, which included two sixes. A couple followed, but Yasir was eventually bowled off the fifth delivery. The responsibility then fell on Rakibul Hasan, who, needing to score a boundary to win the game for Bangladesh, sealed the deal with a hit over midwicket.
The start of the match was delayed due to rain, and when it finally commenced, Pakistan was only able to bat for five overs, during which they managed to post 48/1 before the rain made its return. Consequently, the match was reduced to five overs per side, and Bangladesh had to chase a revised target of 65 according to the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern (DLS) method.
Arshad Iqbal posed an early challenge for Bangladesh by dismissing Zakir Hasan and Saif Hassan for ducks. Afif Hossain played a crucial role in their revival with an 11-ball 20. Yasir Ali’s heroics brought them to the brink of victory, and ultimately, Rakibul Hasan’s heroic last-ball finish secured the Bronze medal for Bangladesh. The men’s team successfully emulated the feat of the women’s team, who had also defeated Pakistan in the Bronze medal match.
Brief Scores: Pakistan 48/1 in 5 overs (Mirza Baig 32*; Rakibul Hasan 1-12) lost to Bangladesh 65/4 in 5 overs (Yasir Ali 34; Arshad Iqbal 3-14) by 6 wickets (DLS method).