India-A suffered a batting collapse and ended up with a much lesser total than it promised. However, the spinners ensured it was more than enough against Afghanistan, which lost by 92 runs in the Quadrangular Under-19 one-day series at the Sports Hub here on Thursday.
India-A, with its second win, ensured its place in the final while it was second consecutive loss for Afghanistan in the tournament.
Chasing 253 for a win, Afghanistan was never in the hunt after Ishan Afridi castled opener Riaz Hussain for a duck in the third over. The loss of wickets at regular intervals derailed the chase with the 44-run sixth wicket stand between Arif Khan (33) and Shafiquallah Ghafari (28) providing the only real resistance. Medium pacers Ishan Afridi and Akash Singh dealt the early blows and the spinners piled on the pressure with their parsimonious spells.
Harsh Dubey and Ravi Bishnoi were unrelenting and kept the batsmen on tight lease during the middle overs. The run rate crept up and Afghanistani batsmen perished while trying to force the pace. Left arm spinner Yuvraj Chaudhary (three for 24) and off spinner Siddhesh Veer (two for 11) profited from the batsmen’s haste as Afghanistan was dismissed in the 49th over.
In the morning, India-A lost eight wickets for 100 runs as Afghanistan spinners led by leg-spinner Shafiqullah Ghafari (four for 35) brought their side back in contention. India-A collapsed from a comfortable position of 152 for two in the 27th over to 252 all out in the 48th over.
After the early loss of Qamaran Iqbal (5), Veer (81), who replaced Yashasvi Jaiswal, and Priyansh Arya (44) added 98 runs for the second wicket to set the platform for a big score.
However, Shafiquallah foxed the Indian batsmen with an assortment of leg breaks and flippers to put the innings in disarray. Shafiquallah started the rot when he had a well settled Priyansh Arya edging a catch to wicketkeeper Ishaq Zazai. After Veer holed out in the deep, India lost wickets far too regularly and ended up with a much lesser total.
The scores: India-A 252 in 47.4 overs (Siddhesh Veer 81, Shashwat Rawat 45, Priyansh Arya 44, Shafiqullah Ghafari four for 35) bt Afghanistan 160 in 48.4 overs (Arif Khan 33, Yuvraj Chaudhary three for 24).