The Asian Games 2023 Men’s Cricket final at the Pingfeng Cricket Campus on Saturday was called off and India bagged another Gold Medal. Afghanistan didn't get a chance to fight for the rare Asian Games gold medal. India was awarded the win due to their higher seeding in the tournament.
The Indian team celebrated in the rain. Ruturaj Gaikwad’s men came as the best team for the top prize. Afghanistan had a solid outing itself but would feel hard done by after it recovered from an early collapse to post 112/5 in 18.2 overs.
The final was delayed by a brief shower. The pitch aided bounce and India with their four tall bowlers Arshdeep Singh, Shivam Dube, Washington Sundar, and Sai Kishore came to the attack in the batting powerplay. The Afghanistan openers Mohammed Shahzad and Zubaid Akbari both lost their wickets by the extra bounce on the surface.
Jitesh Sharma collected Bishnoi’s one bounce throw over the stumps before whipping off the bails to catch Zadran short and reduce Afghanistan to 12/3.
Washington and Kishore went on to attack once again to make it difficult for the Afghan batters to read off the pitch. Bishnoi was the best amongst the Indian bowlers, with Afghanistan struggling to pick up his googlies.
He finished his spell with 4-0-12-1. Shahbaz Ahmed then cleaned up Karim Janat by drawing the batter out to play for the spin but ended up going through his defence.
Shahidullah (49 off 43 balls) and skipper Gulabdin Naib (27 off 24) put together a crucial 60-run stand to help Afghanistan reach past 100. The two set batters were looking set for towards the end, but the rains returned before 4 p.m. and after a long wait, it was decided to call off the match.