Manish Pandey top scored with an unbeaten 86   Getty Images
Manish Pandey top scored with an unbeaten 86 Getty Images

India A beat Afghanistan A by 113 runs in match 4 of the Tri-Nation series in South Africa. Riding on the back of a good platform laid by their batsmen, Indian bowlers stepped up to hand over an easy victory for Karun Nair’s men. By virtue of this victory, India gain 4 points from 3 games and will lock horns with South Africa for their last group stage encounter. India’s top performers were Rishabh Pant and Manish Pandey, whereas Mohammad Siraj, Vijay Shankar and Siddharth Kaul dented Afghanistan’s progress in pursuit of 323.

Electing to bowl, Afghanistan did not start well. Shreyas Iyer and Nair gave a decent start to their side. Nair departed for 9, but Iyer took on the mantle from thereon. He smashed a 55-ball 44 before falling to Sharafuddin Ashraf. The middle order came to the fore with Pant, Pandey, Krunal Pandya and Shankar contributing well. Pant slammed a 59-ball 60 studded with 5 fours and a six. On the other hand, Pandey carried his bat till the last over and remained unbeaten on 86. He was given valuable support from Krunal (48) and Shankar (8-ball 18). The Afghan bowlers failed to keep a lid on the scoreboard and earn regular breakthroughs. Only Ashraf was handy with 2 scalps.

In reply, Afghanistan’s innings never got going. They were dented with Siraj’s early strikes. Afghanistan’s middle order got starts but failed to lift the run-rate. As a result, they fell to Akshar Patel and Shankar in the decisive overs. Kaul removed the top-scorer, Najibullah Zadran, and ended with 2 scalps. Basil Thampi also earned a wicket.

Brief scores:

India A 322 for 5 in 50 overs (Rishabh Pant 60, Manish Pandey 86*, Krunal Pandya 48; Sharafuddin Ashraf 2 for 48) beat Afghanistan A 209 for 9 in 50 overs (Yuonas Ahmadzai 28, Rahmat Shah 28, Najibullah Zadran 62; Mohammad Siraj 3 for 49, Vijay Shankar 2 for 21) by 113 runs.