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Emerging Asia Cup 2023: India hammer Pakistan by 8 wickets after Sai Sudharsan, Rajvardhan Hangargekar heroics

By India Today Sports Desk: India A came up with a dominant performance in their final group stage match, this time against arch-rivals Pakistan A in the Emerging Teams Asia Cup 2023 on Wednesday, July 19. India hammered Pakistan by 8 wickets, successfully chasing a 206-run target in just the 37th over of the 2nd innings at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.

Sai Sudharsan hit an unbeaten 104 in 110 balls, hitting 3 sixes and 10 boundaries while Rajvardhan Hangargekar picked up a 5-wicket haul as Pakistan were comfortably outclassed in the marquee clash of the Emerging Asia Cup tournament.

India A became the only team to finish the group stages unbeaten as they outclassed Pakistan A, UAE A and Nepal A in the group stages.

Pakistan A will take on Sri Lanka A in the first semi-final while India A will face Bangladesh A in the semi-finals in Colombo on July 21 (P Sara Oval and R Premadasa Stadium).

HANGARGEKAR DECIMATES PAKISTAN

The first innings saw a spectacular performance from Rajvardhan Hangargekar, who ripped through the Pakistani batting line-up. The 20-year-old pace sensation drew first blood in the fourth over, dismissing Saim Ayub and setting the tone for the rest of the innings. His relentless attack continued as he picked up the crucial wicket of Omair Yousuf, leaving Pakistan reeling. Despite a valiant 48-run knock by Qasim Akram, Hangargekar’s return to the attack resulted in Akram’s dismissal, further denting Pakistan’s hopes. Hangargekar’s five-wicket haul, including the dismissals of Mohammad Wasim Jr. and Shahnawaz Dahani, restricted Pakistan A to a modest total of 205 runs.

Hangargekar’s exceptional bowling was well-supported by spinner Manav Suthar, who picked up three wickets while conceding only 36 runs in his ten overs. This combined effort by the Indian bowlers ensured that Pakistan A could not build a substantial total, setting the stage for an achievable chase by the Indian batsmen.

As India A began their chase, all eyes were on Sai Sudharsan, the Chennai-born cricketer who has been making waves with his consistent performances. Sudharsan did not disappoint, delivering a masterclass in batting. He thrashed the Pakistani bowlers, dealing in boundaries and sixes, and kept the scoreboard ticking. His unbeaten century, his fourth in List A cricket, was instrumental in India’s successful chase. Sudharsan’s performance was a testament to his talent and potential, marking him as a player to watch out for in the future.

Sudharsan’s impressive career includes a stint in the Indian Premier League (IPL) where he played for the Gujarat Titans. He scored 507 runs in 13 matches, with a highest score of 96 in the IPL 2023 final. Despite the Titans losing the match, Sudharsan’s performance was memorable and indicative of his capabilities.

The final of the competition is scheduled for July 23rd, and given their current form, India A are strong contenders for the trophy.


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