Sudharsan ton aids India A thump Pakistan Shaheens in Emerging Asia Cup

COLOMBO (Agencies): Sai Sudharsan scored a magnificent century and led India A to a thumping eight-wicket victory over Pakistan Shaheens in the ACC Men’s Emerging Teams Asia Cup on Wednesday.

Set to chase a modest 206-run total, India comfortably accumulated 210/2 in 36.4 overs at the back of a dominating century knock by Sai Sudharan. India A openers Sudharan and Abhishek Sharma scripted a solid start to the pursuit with a 58-run partnership.

The pair tested Pakistan Shaheens’ bowlers before Mubasir Khan found a much-needed breakthrough by castling Sharma, who scored 20 off 28. Sudharsan and Nikin Jose then put India A in complete control with a terrific 99-run partnership with both scoring half-centuries.

Jose, however, fell briefly after amassing the milestone as Mehran Mumtaz got him stumped. He scored 53 from 64 deliveries, laced with seven boundaries.

Skipper Yash Dhull (21 off 19) then joined India A mainstay Sudharsan in the middle and stitched a match-winning partnership.

Sudharsan remained unbeaten with a brilliant century. His 110-ball 104 featured 10 boundaries and three sixes. For Pakistan, only Mubasir Khan and Mehran Mumtaz could pick up a wicket.

Opting to bat first in the high-octane clash against arch-rivals India A, Pakistan Shaheens’ batting lineup failed and could only accumulate 205 before being bundled out in the 48th over. Pakistan Shaheens had a dismal start to their innings as the green shirts lost Saim Ayub (0) and Omair Bin Yousuf (0) in the fourth with just nine runs on the scoreboard.

Opening batter Sahibzada Farhan looked to anchor the innings with Kamran Ghulam after back-to-back dismissals.

The pair could add 36 runs to the total before Riyan Parag got rid of Farhan, who could score 35 off 36 deliveries, hitting eight boundaries. Following Farhan’s dismissal, Kamran put on a brief partnership with Haseebullah before both perished in the 23rd over to leave Pakistan in trouble at 78/5.

Pakistan Shaheens’ captain Mohammad Haris could not stop the flow of wickets as he also fell after managing to score a mere 14. Following the slump, Qasim Akram joined forces with Mubasir Khan and put on a crucial 53-run partnership for the seventh wicket.

The pair batted with great domination and looked in control before Nishant Sindhu trapped Khan plump in front to end the budding partnership.

Khan scored a cautious 38-ball 28 which featured four boundaries. Akram then put on another important partnership for Pakistan Shaheens when he paired up with Mehran Mumtaz for the 43-run partnership before eventually perishing in the 46th over.

He top-scored for Pakistan Shaheens with an anchoring 48 from 63 deliveries, hitting five boundaries.

Mumtaz, on the other hand, carried his bat all the way through with an unbeaten 25 off 26 but ran out of partners when Hangarekar removed Shahnawaz Dahani in the 48th over to wrap up the innings.

Hangarekar led the bowling attack for India A with 5/42 followed by Manav Suthar’s 3/36 while Parag and Sindhu made one scalp each.