Afghanistan left-arm wristspinner Noor Ahmad kicked up a social media storm after ‘mankading’ Pakistan opener Mohammad Huraira during the Under-19 World Cup quarterfinal between the two teams at Willowmoore Park in Benoni on Friday. The incident was reminiscent of Ravichandran Ashwin running out Jos Buttler at the non-striker’s end in the Indian Premier League 2019 (IPL), which had also led to a heated debate between former players and fans as to the legitimacy of the dismissal. A similar debate erupted on Twitter after Noor Ahmad’s ‘mankaded’ the Pakistani batsman.

While the likes of James Anderson, Dale Steyn and Mark Waugh were dead against the ‘mankad’ dismissal, others like Harsha Bhogle and Tino Best supported it.

Despite Mohammad Huraira’s dismissal on 64, Pakistan remained on track in the chase, finally winning the match by six wickets to set up a mouthwatering semi-final clash against India.

Huraira struck 64 off 76 balls on Friday as Pakistan comfortably chased down 190 to beat Afghanistan in the quarter-finals.

Afghan captain Farhan Zakhil admitted after his side’s eventual six-wicket defeat that they may not have resorted to the tactic if they had been in a better position.

“At that time, we realised let’s do something different to build pressure on Pakistan,” Zakhil told ESPNcricinfo.com. “To be honest, it was not in the spirit of the game.”

But Huraira conceded that he was to blame for leaving his crease.

“I should’ve been in the crease, and I’ll learn from the mistake. I’ll ensure it isn’t repeated again.”

India made the semi-finals with a 74-run win over Australia on Tuesday, maintaining their perfect record in the tournament having won all of their three group games.

(With AFP inputs)

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