Asiad T20 men’s cricket: India win gold at Hangzhou

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India won gold in the Asian Games 2023 T20 men’s cricket tournament due to better T20 rankings after the final against Afghanistan was called off due to rain here on Saturday.

The Indian men’s cricket team won the title on its debut. Cricket at the Asian Games has been played at two previous editions (2010, 2014) but India had opted to skip both of them.

Afghanistan, meanwhile, picked up their third straight silver medal in Asian Games men’s cricket.

Earlier in Hangzhou, the Indian women’s cricket team also won the gold medal in the T20 tournament.

In Saturday’s match at the Pingfeng Campus Cricket Field, India’s decision to bowl first paid off as the Afghanistan cricket team were reduced to 12/3 in the fourth over.

Shivam Dube and Arshdeep Singh picked wickets in consecutive overs to dismiss both Afghanistan openers before Noor Ali Zadran was run out.

Shahidullah Kamal (49* off 43 balls) held the innings together for Afghanistan despite the spinners making it difficult to score runs. Ravi Bishnoi shone with a terrific spell, giving away only 12 runs in his four overs and picking the wicket of Afsar Zazai.

At 112/5 in 18.2 overs, the India vs Afghanistan cricket final was stopped due to rain and eventually abandoned. India were crowned champions by virtue of their T20 ranking and Afghanistan, who picked up silver medals at Guangzhou 2010 and Incheon 2014, had to settle for a silver in Hangzhou as well.

India began their campaign in the quarter-finals against Nepal with a 23-run victory against Nepal and defeated Bangladesh by nine wickets in the semi-finals.

Earlier in the day, Bangladesh defeated Pakistan in a last-ball thriller to win the bronze medal. Rain interruption reduced the match to a five-over affair and Bangladesh were handed a revised target of 65 in five overs after play resumed.

Yasir Ali (34* off 16 balls) and Afif Hossain (20* off 11 balls) steered the 2010 gold medallists close to the target before Rakibul Hasan hit a boundary off the final ball to finish the match.

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