Apart from real and practical steps which benefit the masses, there has always been a confrontation between Pakistan and India. Be it games in the playgrounds or skirmishes at the border, a dispute is indispensable when players or soldiers of both countries come face-to-face. That’s why Pak-India contest in the world of games draws so much excitement and drama. Fate has now once again pitted the archrivals against each other as both teams are going to lock horns in the final of the Asian Cricket Council Emerging Teams Cup 2013 on Sunday.

[caption id="attachment_2228" align="alignright" width="279"]Hammad Azam’s 66 saved the day for Pakistan (Photo: AFP) Hammad Azam’s 66 saved the day for Pakistan (Photo: AFP)[/caption]

Pakistan Under-23 beat Sri Lanka in the second semi-final after a sensational match. In the game played at The Padang, Singapore, Sri Lanka chose to bat after winning the toss and scored 230 runs at the loss of seven wickets, thanks to the 94-run knock of opener Udara Jayasundera. The other opener, Shehan Jayasuria, was the second top-scorer for the team with 33 off 46. Both batsmen provided an 81-run start to the team.

Usman Qadir’s heroics with the ball restricted the Sri Lankans from amassing a big total. He took five-wicket haul against just 32 runs.

Pakistan suffered their first at the score of zero, and the match was almost slipped out of their hands when the team lost its seventh wicket on 129. Now Pakistan needed over 100 runs with just three wickets in hand. But captain Hammad Azam led from the from at the stage and first took the score to 169 with Bilawal Bhatti (25) and then to 196 with Usman Qadir (11).

When Qadir departed at 196, it seemed the game was over for the green shirts as they required another 35 runs and only one ball could shatter dreams. But Ehsan Adil managed to save his wicket by facing 14 balls, giving time to Azam to continue his fireworks from the other end. In the 49th over, Azam smashed a four to Lahiru Jayaratne on the first ball and then hit a six on the fifth ball to lead Pakistan to a one-wicket victory with seven balls remaining.

Azam’s 66-run innings off 69 balls included two 4s and three 6s. He was also given the player-of-the-match award.

Meanwhile, India beat minnows UAE in the first semi-final by 46 runs to earn a place in the final.

Now the final will be played between Pakistan and India on Sunday (Aug 25) in Kallang Ground, Singapore. The match will start at 6.30am (1.30 GMT) according to Pakistan time.
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