Afghanistan beat India Under-19 by three-wickets to keep themselves alive in the five-match ODI series. Afghanistan, who won the toss and asked India to bat, chased down a target of 153 runs with three-wickets and 22 balls to spare. Imran Mir top-scored for Afghanistan U-19 with 34 runs after the bowlers had bundled India for 152 runs. India still lead the five-match ODI series 2-1 with two games still remaining. Afghanistan Under19 pace trio of Abid Mohammadi, Abdul Rahman and Abidullah Taniwal dismantled the Indian batting order to leave the hosts stuttering at 5/54 at one stage before folding them for 152 runs. They shared nine of the 10 Indian wickets among themselves with Shafiqullah Ghafari taking the other wicket. Team Spirit Missing in Duleep Trophy, Hope Sourav Ganguly Revamps It, Says Sachin Tendulkar.
Earlier, India, who successfully chased down targets in the first two games, started steadily but a sudden middle-order collapse left them at 5/54 in the 21st over. India’s middle-order of Arjun Murthy, Kumar Kushagra and Kruthik Krishna together combined for nine runs in 35 deliveries with the first two out of ducks. Divayaansh Saxena tried to take control of things at the top-order with a patient 24 runs but frequent wickets left him exposed. He was eventually dismissed for a 57-ball 24 with Mohammadi taking his third of the match. Afghan U19’s opening bowling pair of Mohammadi and Taniwal shared the Indian top-six among them before Rahman cleaned the tail. Jasprit Bumrah Likely to Make a Comeback in India’s Tour of New Zealand 2020.
Shubhang Hedge was India’s top-scorer with 46 runs, while Vikrant Bhadoriya was the next best scorer. Both were also involved in a 73-run stand for the sixth wicket, which incidentally was also India’s only 50-plus run-partnership with the next best being 22 runs between Saxena and Krishna. Mohammadi finished with figures of 4/28 in 10 overs, while Rahman and Taniwal from three overs less returned with figures of 3/22 and 2/20 respectively.
Afghanistan too lost captain Farhan Zakhil early but a 54-run partnership between Imran and Mohammad Ishaq (32) ensured there were no hiccups. Rahmanullah and Rahman then scored 21 and 26 respectively to carry their side over the line with the latter even remaining not-out on 26 from 34 deliveries that had four boundaries. Rahman was also awarded the Man of the Match.
India won the first two games by two-wickets and nine-wickets respectively and currently lead the five-match ODI series 2-1. The next match will be played on November 28 (Thursday), while the final ODI will be played on Saturday.