PAKISTAN downed India by one run in a thrilling ACC Under-19 Asia Cup match at the Kinrara Oval yesterday to book a place in the semi-finals as Malaysia's hopes of claiming a win evaporated after a crushing 107-run defeat to Nepal.
Sri Lanka also advanced to the last four after notching a 43-run win over Bangladesh in Group B but Asian giants Pakistan and India served up a treat for fans with a century scored in each innings in their Group A clash.
Opener Sami Aslam hit 15 fours and a six in his 121 runs off 163 balls to steer Pakistan to 287-7 off 50 overs before the game climaxed with India's Mohsin Sayyed mistiming a drive off Mohammad Nawaz's final delivery when India needed one run for the tie and two for the win.
India need to beat Nepal tomorrow to be sure of their semi-final place.
Nepal eased to a comfortable win over the hosts at the Royal Selangor Club in Bukit Kiara as Sagar Pun scored 71 runs in his team's 247-8 off 50 overs before taking the wickets of openers Pasha Syafiq Ali and Fikri Rosdi to leave Malaysia struggling at 28-2.
Syahadat Ramli (36) and Sivanantha Krishnan (23) put on a 53-run stand for the fifth wicket to raise local hopes but Rahul Vishwakarma swept the middle and lower order with a haul of five wickets for 30 runs to dismiss Malaysia for 140 in 43 overs.
RESULTS -- Group A: Pakistan bt India by 1 run (Pakistan 287-7, India 286-7), Nepal bt Malaysia by 109 runs (Nepal 247-8, Malaysia 140); Group B: Sri Lanka bt Bangladesh by 43 runs (S Lanka 183, Bangladesh 140), Afghanistan bt Qatar by 191 runs (Afghanistan 308, Qatar 117).
TOMORROW -- Group A: India v Nepal (Bayuemas, 10am), Malaysia v Pakistan (Selangor Turf Club, 10.30am); Group B: Afghanistan v Bangladesh (Kinrara, 10am), Qatar v Sri Lanka (Royal Selangor Club, 10am).