Captain Ajinkya Rahane’s solid 87-ball 59 at the start and Ishan Kishan’s flourish at the end as he scored an unbeaten 57 off 48 balls helped India A beat England Lions by three wickets in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday.
They now lead the five-match one-day series 1-0.
Chasing 286, Rahane and Anmolpreet Singh (33) got off to a steady start. The skipper then put on 45 runs for the second wicket with Shreyas Iyer (45), 26 for the third with Vihari (16).
Left-arm spinner Danny Briggs, then, got rid of Rahane and Vihari in the same over to hamper India A’s chase. The hosts needed 120 off 97 balls with six wickets in hand.
But the two new batsmen at the crease – Kishan and Krunal Pandya – rebuilt the innings at a sufficient pace. The duo put on a fifth-wicket partnership of 60 off 53 balls.
Pandya was dismissed for 29 in the 43rd over. But Axar Patel (18) and Shardul Thakur (11 not out) offered support to Kishan as he steered the team home with five balls remaining.
Earlier, England Lions, powered by Sam Billings’ unbeaten 108, made 285 for seven. Alex Davies (54 off 64) got them to a good start as he put on a first-wicket stand of 37 with Ben Duckett (23). Davies and Sam Hain (21) scored 61 for the second wicket.
The scoring rate surged after the arrival of Billings. England Lions scored 66 runs off the last 37 balls.