Thiruvananthapuram: India 'A' and 'B' teams notched up their second successive win in the under-19 quadrangular one-day tournament, beating Afghanistan and South Africa colts in contrasting styles here Thursday.
While the 'A' team crushed Afghanistan by 92 runs, the 'B' team edged out South Africa in a thriller, thanks to some superb fielding which resulted in three run-outs in the space of five balls in the final over, leaving the visitors short by one run.
The two Indian teams thus sealed their place in the final on March 11.
In the India 'A'-South Africa match at the Greenfield Stadium, the home team was sent in to bat and posted 252 in 47.4 overs, riding on a strokeful knock of 81 by opener Siddhesh Veer (81, 82 balls, 9X4, 3X6) and useful contributions from Priyansh Arya (44, 58 balls, 5X4, 1X6) and Shashwat Rawat (45, 51 balls, 3X4, 1X6).
For Afghanistan, leg-spinner Shafiqullah Ghafari took four wickets including those of Arya and captain Nehal Wadhera (13).
In reply, the Afghanistan colts were never in the hunt, losing wickets at regular intervals.
Arif Khan Dawlatzai was the top-scorer with 33 (46 balls, 2X4, 1X6) while Gafari followed up his four-wicket haul with a knock of 28 though it consumed 62 balls.
For India 'A', left-arm spinner Yuvraj Choudhary was the best bowler with figures of 3 for 24 from eight overs.
The other match at St Xavier's KCA Cricket Ground turned out to be a thriller with the India 'B' boys pulling off a narrow one-run win after South Africa faltered in the end stages.
Chasing 199, South Africa looked on track to secure its first victory of the tour, but collapsed in a heap, losing three wickets in the final over.
India 'B' elected to bat and struggled to 198 in 49.1 overs with Pragnesh Kanpillewar (42, 48 balls, 6X4) and Sameer Rizvi (40, 69 balls, 3X4) being the main contributors.
Right-arm medium-pacer Siya Plaatjie took three wickets, conceding 40 runs.
The Proteas were in a spot of bother at 79 for 5 before a fruitful association for the sixth wicket between opener Ruan Terblanche (73, 142 balls, 4X4) and Andile Mogakane (64, 63 balls, 5X4, 2X6) revived the team's fortunes.
The two mixed caution and aggression to counter the varied India 'B' bowling attack. Mogakane, in particular, was aggressive and even hit two big sixes.
The exit of Mogakane at 178 after a 99-run partnership with Terblanche gave the Indians some hope and they homed in with some superb fielding in the final over.
Captain Rahul Chandol led the way, by running out Terblanche off the second ball of the 50th over. Two more run-outs, one in the third ball and final ball with two required to win, handed India 'B' a memorable win.
The two Indian teams have won both the matches and have ensured qualification for the final slated on March 11.
India 'A' and 'B' will meet in the final league encounter on Saturday.
Brief scores: India under-19 'A' 252 all out in 47.4 overs (Siddhesh Veer 81, Priyansh Arya 44, Shashwat Rawat 45, Dhruv Jurel 28, Shafiqullah Ghafari 4 for 35) beat Afghanistan under-19 160 all out in 48.4 overs (Arif Khan 33, Farhan Zakhil 28, Shafiqullah Ghafari 28, Yuvraj Chaudhary 3 for 24). MoM: Siddhesh Veer. Points: India 'A': 5; Afghanistan: 0.
India under-19 'B' 198 all out in 49.1 overs (Pragnesh Kanpillewar 42, Sameer Rizvi 40, Tilak Varma 33, Prayas Barman 28, Siya Plaatjie 3 for 40) beat South Africa under-19 197 for 9 in 50 overs (Andile Mogakane 64, Ruan Terblanche 73, Sumit Juyal 2 for 18, Karan Lal 2 for 29). MoM: Andile Mogakane. Points: India 'B': 4, SA: 0.