As per an Asian Games-specific rule, Team India was declared the winner, being the higher-ranked team.
Asian Games Day 14
Afghanistan posted a total of 112-5 under the floodlights in Hangzhou after 18.2 overs before rain intervened. With weather conditions failing to improve, the match was ultimately called off.
Despite the damp ending, India celebrated a double gold at the Asian Games, having previously secured the women’s cricket championship by defeating Sri Lanka by 19 runs the week before.
Twenty20 cricket has made appearances at the Asian Games twice before, in Guangzhou 2010 and Incheon 2014, with Bangladesh and Sri Lanka emerging as men’s champions in those editions. Afghanistan had finished as runners-up on both occasions, while India did not participate.
India and Afghanistan, being higher-ranked teams, entered the tournament at the quarter-final stage in Hangzhou. India sailed through their knockout matches against Nepal and Bangladesh, while Afghanistan faced tough battles against defending champions Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
In the final, Afghanistan was put into bat after India won the toss. Facing a fiery start, Afghanistan’s openers struggled as pacemen Shivam Dube and Arshdeep Singh quickly dismissed Zubaid Akbari and Mohammad Shahzad within the first three overs. A run-out of Noor Ali Zadran added to their woes.
However, a resilient partnership between Afsar Zazai and Shahidullah saw Afghanistan regain some momentum, with Shahidullah scoring an unbeaten 49. Rain interrupted play during their 60-run partnership.
India complete 100 medals at Asian Games 2023
In the bronze medal match, Bangladesh pulled off a stunning victory against Pakistan. After rain halted Pakistan’s innings at 48-1 off five overs, Bangladesh was set a revised target of 65 under the DLS (Duckworth-Lewis-Stern) method. In a thrilling finish, Rakibul Hasan struck a boundary off the final ball to secure a six-wicket win for Bangladesh, sparking jubilant celebrations among their team.
(With inputs from AFP)