India suffered a shock 28-run defeat against Afghanistan but still qualified for the semi-finals of the ACC Emerging Teams Cup tournament for the under-23 cricket teams, here today.
Chasing a modest 185 to win, Indian team, packed with a lot of talented youngsters, managed just 156 for nine as losing wickets at regular intervals cost them dear in their last group A match.
Opener Lokesh Rahul (51) and Ankit Bawne (39) were the only batsmen who resisted the rival bowlers confidently.
Unmukt Chand (10), Ashok Menaria (5) and Baba Aparajith (2) fell cheaply as the Indian middle order crumbled in the face of some disciplined bowling by Afghanistan.
Having won the first two matches, India topped Group A and will take on UAE, in the semifinal tomorrow. UAE too recorded a surprise win over Bangladesh today.
Despite their upset win over India, Afghanistan were eliminated as India and Pakistan advanced to the knockout stage on the virtue of their better Net Run Rate.
India (+0.440), Pakistan (+0.425) and Afghanistan (+0.177) all finished with four points each.
Pakistan will take on Sri Lanka, winner of Group B.