Singapore: 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 teams, here, on Thursday.
Chasing a modest 185 to win, India, 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 to resist the rival bowlers. Unmukt Chand (10), Ashok Menaria and Baba Aparajith 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 the group and will take on UAE in the semi-final on Friday. UAE, too, recorded a surprise win over Bangladesh. Despite their upset win, Afghanistan were eliminated as India and Pakistan advanced to the knock-out stage by virtue of their superior net run rate.