The Indian men’s cricket team clinched the gold medal on its Asian Games debut after their final against Afghanistan was called off due to rain, and the Ruturaj Gaikwad-led side was adjudged winners by virtue of being seeded higher in the continental showpiece on Saturday.
Put in to bat, Afghanistan were 112 for 5 in 18.2 overs when persistent rain halted the proceedings at the Zhejiang University of Technology Cricket Field, and the match never restarted from that point.
The Afghans had a jittery start and were reduced to 12/3 inside four overs after their top-three — Zubaid Akbari (5), Mohammad Shahzad (4) and Noor Ali Zadran (1) — fell cheaply.
Shivam Dube (1-0-4-1) got the first breakthrough when he had Akbari in his first over. Akbari perished going for a hook shot to a rising delivery by the Indian pacer.
In the next over, wicketkeeper-batter Shahzad was caught behind off a delivery from left-arm pacer Arshdeep Singh (3-0-17-1).
The Afghans committed a harakiri when Zadran was run out after a Ravi Bishnoi throw from deep square-leg helped Jitesh Sharma uproot the stumps.
Shahidullah then revived their innings scoring an unbeaten 43-ball 49 (3×4, 2×6) in a partnership with Afsar Zazai (15).
But India struck back when leg-spinner Bishnoi (4-0-12-1) broke the 37-run partnership, cleaning up Zazai with a wrong one.
From the other end, left-arm spinner Shahbaz Ahmed castled Karim Janat for 1.
That brought skipper Gulbadin Naib to the crease and he shared a 60-run partnership with Shahidullah to give some respectability to the Afghanistan total before their progress was hindered.
The match could not resume and the match referee from Sri Lanka Graeme Labrooy abandoned the match as India sealed their maiden gold in cricket at the Asian Games.