Kolkata, Nov 21: Delhi's young left-handed wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant's fluent 88-ball-87 complemented by left-arm paceman Khaleel Ahmed's 4/41 enabled hosts India to record a comfortable 33-run win over Afghanistan in an U-19 tri-series match, here today.
India now have 9 points from two games, having beaten Bangladesh in their opening game yesterday. Batting first, India were all out for 236 in 50 overs befpore bowling out Afghanistan for 203 in 47.3 overs.
Apart from Khaleel, it was Bengal's left-arm spinner Pradipta Pramanik (2/34), who bowled an impressive 10-over spell. In a side with as many as eight changes to the one that beat Bangladesh handsomely yesterday, Rahul Dravid's wards lived up to the head coach's expectation as they again dominated the proceedings from the onset.
Electing to bat, India lost their first wicket in opener Washington Sundar (2) with only five on board. It was the stockily built Pant, who laid the foundation in his two fifty-plus partnerships with Amandeep Khare (24 from 30 balls; 2x4, 1x6) and captain Ricky Bhui (27 from 47b; 3x4).
Delhi's Ranji Trophy wicketkeeper-batsman had 10 boundaries and two sixes in his effort that lasted a few minutes over two hours. Pant went back after getting a dubious leg before decision and was soon followed by skipper Bhui, both of whom fell in space of seven runs.
It was No. 6 Mahipal Lomror chipped in with an useful 43 (62b; 6x4) to take India to a defendable total on a slow JU (Salt Lake) wicket.
Pant, took the decision in his stride, said:"It seemed to be 'not out' as there was an edge but these things happen. We are happy with the win, everyone contributed for the team. It's a happy unit under Dravid sir."
Asked why it took nearly 48 overs to bowl Afghanistan out, Pant said: "Credit should be given to the Afghanistan as they batted well and we struggled in the middle overs. It's a good team and they took us by surprise."
It was Mahipal Lomror who castled Karim Jannat to seal the win for India in 47.3 overs and finish with impressive figures of 2/31.
Brief Scores: India U-19 236 in 50 overs (Rishabh Pant 87, Mahipal Lomror 43; Rashid Khan 4/47) Afghanistan U-19 203 in 47.3 overs (Rashid Arman 43, Mohammad Sardar Wali 33; Khaleel Ahmed 4/41, Lomror 2/31, Pradipta Pramanik 2/34). India won by 33 runs.
Points: India 9 from 2 games. Afghanistan 0 from 1 game.