Pakistan’s Under-19 team nearly secured their advancement to the next stage of the ACC U-19 Asia Cup in Dubai following a commanding eight-wicket victory against their arch-rivals, India.
The Men in Green comfortably chased down the target of 260 with three overs to spare, largely propelled by Azan Awais’ century and skipper Saad Baig’s rapid unbeaten 68. Despite their impressive batting display, a stroke of luck during the initial innings proved pivotal in the team’s triumph.
Early on, Indian captain Uday Saharan steadied the innings alongside opener Adarsh Singh, forming a solid 93-run partnership that laid the groundwork for a potential thrilling finish.
However, the game took a turn in the 32nd over when left-arm spinner Arafat Minhas delivered a ball significantly wide of the stumps, tempting Singh, who was batting on 62, to attempt an audacious sweep. Singh managed only a faint under edge, but his swift swing of the bat left Baig, positioned behind the stumps, momentarily stunned as the ball headed his way.
Baig instinctively contorted his body, causing the Kookaburra to ricochet off his thigh before settling between his calves. With precision, Baig retrieved the ball from his legs just before the umpire signaled Singh’s dismissal, completing one of cricket’s most extraordinary catches and altering the course of the game.