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HindustanTimes Fri,22 Aug 2014

Cricket

Upbeat India take on confident Pakistan in Emerging final
PTI
Singapore, August 24, 2013
First Published: 18:19 IST(24/8/2013)
Last Updated: 18:21 IST(24/8/2013)

One of cricket's famous rivalries will be renewed at the junior level when an India U-23 side led by Suryakumar Yadav take on arch-rivals Pakistan U-23 in the final of the ACC Emerging Trophy tournament in Singapore on Sunday.

Despite both sides fielding their third string U-23 side (India A is playing in South Africa), an Indo-Pak duel is certain to grab eyeballs as some of the promising juniors from either sides would like to make a mark on the big stage.

All eyes will be on the immensely talented Unmukt Chand to fire on all cylinders during the summit clash.

The Delhi lad has an uncanny ability to score runs when it matters the most -- like century against Australia in the U-19 World Cup final, a ton against Assam in National One Day Championship final to name a few.

If Indian team is keen to dominate the proceedings, then Unmukt will be expected to make amends for his poor show in the semi-final where he was out without scoring.

Karnataka opener Lokesh Rahul and Gujarat's Manpreet Juneja have also chipped in with useful runs but both being longer format specialists have failed to push the scoring rate.

The failure of skipper Yadav has affected India's chances as his only substantial score (65) in the tournament came against Nepal but the match was not an official List A game.

The Kallang Cricket Ground where the final will be played has seen some low scoring affairs with India barely managing to get past 200 against minnows United Arab Emirates in the semi-final. However left-arm spinner Akshar Patel (four wickets) bowled well to ensure a comfortable win for India by 46 runs.

Pakistan were also engaged in a tight finish when they pipped Sri Lanka U-23 by one wicket in the other semi-final.

For Pakistan, left-arm spinner Raza Hassan, who has represented the senior national side, will be the leader of the attack. Former leg-spinner Abdul Qadir's younger son Usman, who bowls leg-breaks like his illustrious father, is also expected to perform well.

All-rounder and skipper of the side Hammad Azam will also like to make a contribution in the final.


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