Colombo: Nitish Rana and Himmat Singh struck unbeaten half-centuries to help India beat Pakistan by seven wickets and seal a spot in the final of the ACC Emerging Teams Asia Cup in Colombo on Thursday.
The Delhi duo added 126 runs for the fourth wicket after India suffered a few early blows while chasing 173. India, meanwhile, face Sri Lanka in the final, the latter having defeated Bangladesh by four wickets in the other semi-final clash on Thursday.
Rana scored 60 in as many balls, Himmat made 59 off 58 deliveries with India overhauling the target in 27.3 overs.
Singh smashed five sixes including three successive ones off Mohammad Asgar, while Rana hit three maximums.
Winning the toss and inviting Pakistan to bat first, India bowled Pakistan out for 172 in 44.4 overs.
Captain and wicket-keeper Mohammad Rizwan top-scored with 67, while Saud Shakeel contributed 62 runs. Opener Zeeshan Malik made 17 runs.
Leg-spinner Mayank Markande was the most successful bowler for India, returning with figures of 4/38 in 9.4 overs.
India, who were placed in Group A, defeated Afghanistan by 84 runs in their opening match and capped the group round with a six-wicket victory over Oman and a four-wicket win over Sri Lanka.
Pakistan started the tournament on a high, thrashing Hong Kong by 225-runs in their opening match. Pakistan then defeated United Arab Emirates (UAE) by nine wickets, but lost to Bangladesh on Sunday by 84 runs in their Pool B match to set-up a semi-final clash with their arch-rivals.
A total of eight teams — Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, India, Oman, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Hong Kong and UAE — are participating in the tournament, which kicked off on 6 December.
Sri Lanka defeated Bangladesh by four wickets in the other semi-final on Thursday. Electing to field after winning the toss, the co-hosts restricted Bangladesh to 237, with Chamika Karunaratne the pick of the Sri Lankan bowlers with figures of 4/31. In reply, Kamindu Mendis led the way with the bat as he struck an unbeaten 91 to guide his team to victory with 10 balls to spare.
The final will be played in Colombo on Saturday.