India A registered a comfortable win over Afghanistan A by seven wickets in the second match of the Tri-series on Friday at Pretoria, South Africa. After winning the toss, India A decided to field and the decision proved to be on target as the Indian bowlers started to build pressure on the opposition batsmen from the word go. Afghanistan kept losing wickets at regular intervals, not being able to put a big partnership as they were bundled out for 149 in 40.5 overs.
Only four Afghanistan A batsmen were able to score in double digits. Javed Ahmadi and Rahmat Shah tried to handle the innings after Afghanistan A lost their first wicket. But Ahmadi couldn’t continue for long as Axar Patel provided his breakthrough to break a 40-run stand between the two, followed by Shah’s wicket on Shankar’s delivery.
Afghanistan A all-rounder, Najjibullah Zadran, looked settled at the crease with his 30 run cameo, including two sixes, but Patel didn’t take long to send him to the dugout, putting Afghanistan A in trouble. Sharaffudin Ashraf played an important role with the bat, scoring 39 unbeaten runs and took Afghanistan A to 149. For India A, Axar Patel, Vijay Shankar took three wickets each, including a brace from Yuzvender Chahal.
Chasing a small total of 150 runs, India A started on an aggressive note with Shreyas Iyer and Karun Nair smashing some clean boundaries before Iyer was dismissed for 20 by Yamin Ahmadzai. Sanju Samson also fell cheaply at the score of 10 as India A were 54 for two at one stage. The show was stolen from the moment Karun Nair started to take charge.
Nair scored impressive 57 runs and was adjudged the man-of-the-match, and more importantly was involved in the third wicket crucial partnership with captain Manish Pandey for 67 runs. Pandey remained unbeaten on 41 along with Rishabh Pant (17) as India A clinched their first win of the Tri-Series after losing their previous encounter to South Africa A.