Asian Games 2023: India clinch gold in men's cricket after final against Afghanistan abandoned due to rain
Team India clinched gold medal at the Asian Games 2023 men's cricket after the final match against Afghanistan was abandoned due to rain.
In a historic moment, the Indian men's cricket team secured the gold medal in its debut appearance at the Asian Games. Their final match against Afghanistan, however, came to an abrupt end due to persistent rain. The Ruturaj Gaikwad-led Indian side was declared the winners by virtue of their higher seeding in the tournament.
Afghanistan had a challenging start to their innings, losing three wickets for just 12 runs within the first four overs. Zubaid Akbari (5), Mohammad Shahzad (4), and Noor Ali Zadran (1) all departed early, putting their team in a tough position. The first breakthrough for India came when Shivam Dube (1-0-4-1) dismissed Akbari with a well-placed rising delivery.
In the following over, wicketkeeper-batsman Shahzad was caught behind off a delivery by left-arm pacer Arshdeep Singh (3-0-17-1). Afghanistan's troubles continued as Zadran was run out after an accurate throw from Ravi Bishnoi from deep square-leg dislodged the stumps.
Shahidullah took the responsibility of rebuilding the Afghan innings with an impressive, unbeaten 43-ball 49, which included three boundaries and two sixes. He partnered with Afsar Zazai (15) to add valuable runs. However, India struck back when leg-spinner Bishnoi (4-0-12-1) dismissed Zazai with a deceptive wrong one.
With skipper Gulbadin Naib now at the crease, a 60-run partnership with Shahidullah provided some stability to the Afghan total. However, their progress was halted by unfortunate weather conditions.
Persistent rain disrupted play when Afghanistan was 112 for 5 in 18.2 overs. The match referee, Graeme Labrooy from Sri Lanka, ultimately abandoned the match. As a result, India claimed their first-ever gold medal in cricket at the Asian Games.
Brief scores: Afghanistan: 112/5 in 18.2 overs (Shahidullah 49 not out) vs. India. (Match abandoned)