In a climactic turn of events at the Asian Games, the Indian men’s cricket team secured a gold medal, albeit under unusual circumstances. Heavy rainfall forced the cancellation of the final match between India and Afghanistan. Due to a higher ranking, India was declared the victory, adding another gold to their tally.
The cricket showdown took place at the Pingfang Campus Cricket Stadium in Hangzhou, where India won the toss and elected to bowl. Afghanistan’s batting lineup faced a daunting challenge, and they managed to score 112 runs for the loss of 5 wickets in their allotted 18.2 overs. However, the match could not continue as rain intervened, disrupting the proceedings.
Afghanistan’s start was far from ideal, losing their first wicket with just 5 runs on the board. Opener Zubaid Akbari contributed only 5 runs before departing. The rain persisted, and on the last ball of the third over, Afghanistan suffered another blow, losing their second wicket in the form of Mohammad Shahzad (4).
The team couldn’t recover as they lost their third wicket on the second ball of the third over when Noor Ali Zadran was dismissed, having managed just 1 run.
Afterward, Shahidullah Kamal and captain Gulbadin Naib appeared to be building a partnership, but the match was halted due to rain. They had put up a partnership of 60* runs (45 balls) for the sixth wicket. During this period, Shahidullah Kamal remained unbeaten on 49* (43), while the captain contributed 27* (24) runs.
Despite the interruptions caused by rain, India’s bowling performance was noteworthy. Arshdeep Singh, Shahbaz Ahmed, Ravi Bishnoi, and Shivam Dube each claimed a wicket. Bishnoi’s bowling was particularly economical, as he conceded only 12 runs in his 4 overs with an impressive economy rate.
While the gold medal was ultimately decided by rankings due to the match’s cancellation, the Indian cricket team’s performance showcased their talent and determination. Despite the weather playing spoilsport, the victory is a testament to their hard work and skill on the field, adding another accolade to India’s impressive cricketing achievements.