Sai Sudharsan carried his rich vein of form forward with a classy century, and Rajvardhan Hangargekar also showed his aggression with a five-wicket haul as India A registered a commanding eight-wicket win over Pakistan A in their Emerging Asia Cup 2023 clash in Colombo on Wednesday.
The match started with Hangargekar breathing fire in the opening spell. Pakistan lost their first couple of wickets with just nine runs on the board. Although Saheebzada Farhan and Haseebullah Khan steadied the Pakistani ship for a while, Riyan Parag provided the breakthrough as he dismissed Farhan for a score of 35.
Pakistan kept losing wickets at regular intervals after Farhan's dismissal and were reduced to 95/6 soon after. A total over 200 seemed like a distant dream at that point, but the lower order stood tall and made valuable contributions to take their team to a respectable total.
Qasim Akram, who walked in to bat at No.7 was Pakistan's highest scorer with 48 runs to his name. Mubasir Khan and Mehran Mumtaz also did well with individual contributions of 28 and 25*, respectively. Their efforts helped Pakistan in reaching a total of 205, which looked improbable at one point.
Ace pacer Hangargekar registered impressive figures of 8-1-42-5, whereas left-arm spinner Manav Suthar also did well with figures of 3/36 in his full quota of 10 overs.
India start well in Emerging Asia Cup 2023 clash
India started quite well in their chase, with Sudharsan and Abhishek Sharma putting on an opening stand of 58 runs. Mubasir Khan broke the partnership when he cleaned up Sharma for an individual contribution of 20, but there was no stopping India once Nikin Jose joined Sudharsan at the crease.
The duo put on a stand of 99 runs for the second wicket, and it came to an end when Jose got stumped off Mumtaz's bowling for a well-made 53. Sudharsan, however, carried on and made his way to a well-deserved century.
Skipper Yash Dhull joined Sudharsan at the crease after Jose's dismissal and he remained unbeaten on 21 off just 19 deliveries to propel his team to an eight-wicket win with 13.2 overs remaining.
Sudharsan was adjudged the Player of the Match for his fantastic knock of 104*, which helped India A in setting up an Emerging Asia Cup 2023 semi-final clash with Sri Lanka A.
Brief Scores: India A vs Pakistan A – Emerging Asia Cup 2023
Pakistan A 205 All Out in 48 Overs (Akram 48, Farhan 35; Hangargekar 5/42)
India A 210/2 in 36.2 Overs (Sudharsan 104*, Jose 53; Mubasir 1/45)
India A won by eight wickets.