India U19, Afghanistan U19, U19 Asia Cup, Sushant Mishra, Atharva Ankolekar
Mishra returned with a five-wicket haul going for just 20 in 9.1 overs, while Ankolekar pocketed four wickets in his 9 overs going for just 16 runs. @ BCCI

Fast bowler Sushant Mishra and left-arm spinner Atharva Ankolekar shared nine wickets between them to lead India U19 to a nervy three-wicket win against Afghanistan U19 in the U19 Asia Cup Group A match on Monday. India now have topped the group with six points after registering their third win on the trot.

Opting to bat, Afghanistan were off to a good start with openers Farhan Zakhil and Sediqullah Atal stitching 51 runs. The budding partnership was snapped after Mishra sent the Afghan captain Zakhil for 29 in the 11th over. His partner Atal followed in the next over after he was trapped lbw by Ankolekar for 25.

Afghanistan then suffered a batting collapse as they went from 55/2 in the 12th over to 68/6 in the 20th over with Mihsra and Ankolekar wrecking havoc to the middle order.

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It took a gritty 39 off 60 by Abidullah Taniwal that helped Afghanistan cross the 100-run mark. They were skittled for 124 in 40.1 overs.

Mishra returned with a five-wicket haul going for just 20 in 9.1 overs, while Ankolekar pocketed four wickets in his 9 overs going for just 16 runs.

India’s run chase was not without drama. Opener Arjun Azad, who registered a century in the previous match against Pakistan, fell for 21 after he was dismissed by Jamshid Khan in the sixth over.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Salil Arora and Shashwat Rawat then steadied the innings with a 57-run partnership for the second wicket, but just as they were beginning to accelerate, Shafiqullah Ghafari struck and removed Rawat for 29. Captain Dhruv Jurel failed to trouble the scorers after he was dismissed lbw by Noor Ahmad, who returned to see the back of Arora (29) in the 25th over.

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India were at a precarious 85/4 when Arora departed, but they huffed and puffed their way to win despite Ahmad threatening to foil their chances. Karun Lal (13*) and Purnank Tyagi (11*) saw the defending champions to victory in 38.4 overs.

Ahmad was the pick of the Afghan bowlers with 4/30 in his 10 overs. Ghafari snapped 2/29 in his 10.

In the other Group A match of the day, Pakistan U19 beat Kuwait U19 by 163 runs.

Brief scores: India U19 128/7 in 38.4 overs (Shashwat Rawat 29, Salil Arora 29; Noor Ahmad 4/30) beat Afghanistan U19 124 all out in 40.1 overs (Abidullah Taniwal 39; Sushant Mishra 5/20, Atharva Ankolekar 4/16) by 3 wickets