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Pakistan shine in cricket, kabaddi and weightlifting at Asian Games

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HANGZHOU: Pakistan got off to a winning start men’s cricket, continued their victorious run in kabaddi and shone in weightlifting at the Asian Games on Tuesday.

At the Zhejiang University of Technology Cricket Field here, a batting cameo by Aamir Jamal and Khushdil Shah’s trickery with the ball led Pakistan to a 68-run win over Hong Kong in the quarter-final — the stage the national side entered the competition.

After being put in to bat, Pakistan were once stuttering at 54-5 but Aamir arrived in the 17th over and launched an onslaught, which saw the right-hander smash 41 off 16 balls — hitting four sixes and two fours — to help the side post 160.

It was then over to the Pakistan’s spin bowling attack of Arafat Minhas, Sufiyan Muqeem, Qasim Akram and Khushdil to bundle Hong Kong for just 92 runs. While Khushdil registered figures of 3-13, the remaining three spinners bagged two wickets apiece.

Pakistan will face either Afghanistan or Sri Lanka in their semi-final on October 6.

India, too, made it to the semi-final as explosive opener Yashasvi Jaiswal smashed seven sixes in a sublime maiden T20 century in Nepal’s 23-run defeat. After winning the toss and opting to bat, Jaiswal’s masterful 100, from 49 balls helped them to 202-4.

Nepal could only manage 179-9 in reply, with Avesh Khan and Ravi Bishnoi taking three wickets each.

In kabaddi, Pakistan beat South Korea in their Group ‘B’ match. Meanwhile, Pakistan’s weightlifter Furqan Anwar finished atop of the men’s 81 kg Group ‘A’ competition with a total of 299 points.

He scored 133 points in snatch and 166 points in the clean and jerk round.

The country’s only outing in an athletics finale at the Games so far ended up in disappointment as Mohammad Afzal managed 11th place in the men’s triple jump medals event. After recording a jump of 14.18m in his first go, Afzal raised it to 15.10m in the second. His third attempt was called foul.

In the badminton events, Pakistan’s Mahoor Shahzad was beaten by Vietnam’s Linh Thuy Nguyen 21-7, 21-10 in the women’s singles round-of-32 match, while Ali Murad lost to China’s Shifeng Li 21-11, 21-11 and Mohammad Irfan Saeed Bhatti went down to Japan’s Kodai Naraoka 21-6, 21-15 in the men’s event.

Pakistan’s pair of Mahoor and Ghazala Siddique also failed to put up a challenge against Thailand’s duo of Jongkolphan Kitiharakul and Rawinda Prajongjai as they won 21-5, 21-7 in the women’s doubles round-of-32 match.

The country’s squash players also couldn’t register a positive result on Tuesday as Noor Zaman and Mehwish Ali were beaten by South Korea’s Jaejin Yoo and Hwayeong Eum 11-4, 11-8 in the mixed doubles pool ‘A’ match. Farhan Zaman and Sadia Gul, meanwhile, lost to Philippines’ Alussa Yvonne Dalida and William David Pelino 11-4, 11-10 in the pool ‘D’ clash.

In boxing, Pakistan’s Zohaib Rasheed lost to Uzbekistan’s Hasanboy Dusmatov 5-0 on points in the men’s 46-51kg quarter-final.—

Published in Dawn, October 4th, 2023


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