Rising batting sensation Sai Sudharsan's eminently graceful hundred beautifully complemented pacer Rajvardhan Hangargekar's five-wicket haul as India A crushed Pakistan A by eight wickets to end league stage with all-win record in the Emerging Asia Cup, here on July 19.
Batting first, Pakistan were all out for 205 in 48 overs with Hangargekar taking 5 for 42 in eight overs and then Sudharsan's unbeaten 104 off 110 balls ensured that the meagre target was surpassed in 36.4 overs.
In fact, Sudharsan pulled and then lofted senior Pakistan team pacer Shahnawaz Dahani for back-to-back sixes to complete his fourth List A hundred.
His 99-run second-wicket partnership with Kerala man Nikin Jose (53 off 64 balls) literally ended Pakistan's hopes of a comeback.
Sudharsan, who was equally good against Nepal on the other evening, hit 10 boundaries apart from three sixes. His driving on both sides of the wicket was regal once he was set. The most impressive part of his batting was nearly 40 singles that he took to keep the strike rotating.
Credit should be given to skipper Yash Dhull (21 not out off 19 balls), who allowed Sudharsan to go for the milestone giving him bulk of the strike during their 53-run stand.
With two required for a win and his century, Sudharsan hit Dahani for an exquisite six over extra cover to end the game.
"I was focusing more on risk-free runs. Focusing on ones and twos, and reducing dot balls. Against spinners, it was dicey and tricky wicket to bat. It was better to face against fast bowlers," Sudharsan said after the match.
However, Hangargekar and left-arm spinner Manav Suthar (3/36 in 10 overs) also deserve equal credit for restricting Pakistan batters as no one even got to a fifty.
Had Qasim Akram (48) and Mubasir Khan (28) not added 53 for the seventh wicket, Pakistan team's total wouldn't have gained the semblance of respectability that it got in the end.
Hangargekar, the muscular Maharashtra man, bowls back-of-the-length stuff with occasional fuller deliveries which do the trick. The pace is in and around 140 clicks which made it difficult for the top order batters to drive on the up.
Sutar, the Rajasthan man, also varied his pace and used the loop to good effect to get his share of dismissals.
Brief Scores: Pakistan A 205 in 48 overs (Qasim Akram 48, Rajvardhan Hangargekar 5/42, Manav Suthar 3/36) vs India A 210/2 in 36.4 overs (Sai Sudharsan 104 not out, Nikin Jose 53).