Lower order and spinners lead Pakistan to Asian Games semi-finals

Qasim Akram is the first player in an Youth ODI to pick up five wickets and score a century ICC via Getty Images

Pakistan 160 (Jamal 41, Shukla 4-49, Ghazanfar 3-26) beat Hong Kong 92 (Hayat 29, Khushdil 3-13) by 68 runs

Pakistan stuttered to 73 for 6 before their lower order salvaged their innings to post a strong total of 160 and their spinners bowled out Hong Kong for 92 to book a semi-final berth in the Asian Games in Hangzhou.

Opting to bowl, Honk Kong made good use of the new ball when Ayush Shukla's early wickets accounted for Mirza Baig and Rohail Nazir in the first three overs, followed by Haider Ali's dismissal in the next over. Captain Qasim Akram joined opener Omair Yousuf to consolidate to take them past 50 but he skied one to silly mid-off while targeting the leg-side boundary in the ninth over.

Four balls later, Younus was bowled by Anas Khan for 21 and Pakistan were reeling at 54 for 5. Asif Ali stitched a useful stand of 19 with Khushdil Shah and of 36 with Arafat Minhas to stretch the score past 100. Even though Asif fell for 25 with 22 balls left in the innings, No. 9 Aamer Jamal blasted a 16-ball 41 to lift Pakistan to 160, which saw 49 runs in the last three overs, including 26 in the last.

Pakistan also started well with the ball when Minhas struck twice in the powerplay, but No. 3 Babar Hayat kept them going at nearly six an over close to the halfway mark. Khushdil, however, sent him back for 29 and Hong Kong collapsed by losing six wickets for just nine runs to slip from 54 for 2 to 63 for 8. Khushdil took 3 for 13, and Manhas, Sufiyan Muqeem and Qasim grabbed two wickets apiece to bowl out Hong Kong in 18.5 overs.

Hong Kong 2nd innings Partnerships

1st10Nizakat KhanMuhammad Khan
2nd19Nizakat KhanBabar Hayat
3rd25Babar HayatS Mathur
4th0Akbar KhanS Mathur
5th1Akbar KhanNasrulla Rana
6th2Anas KhanAkbar Khan
7th5Ehsan KhanAkbar Khan
8th1Ehsan KhanA Shukla
9th13Ehsan KhanMohammad Ghazanfar
10th16Ehsan KhanNiaz Ali