Irfan Pathan's all-round show was just not enough as India A crashed to a four-wicket defeat against its Sri Lankan counterpart in the ongoing triangular cricket tournament at Nairobi on Thursday.
Nuwan Kulasekara (4/10) and his pace colleague Chanaka Welegedara (3/23) cut a swathe to skittle out India for a paltry 102 in 36.2 overs and Sri Lanka A needed 30.2 overs to reach 106 for six wickets for a comprehensive victory.
In what was a spineless capitulation by the Indian batting order, Irfan starred with a 79-ball 44 and then returned to claim two wickets only to see the effort go in vain.
Sri Lankan A captain Malinda Warnapura stood vindicated after his decision to insert the opponents and Praveen Kumar's dismissal for a duck in the very second delivery was just an inkling of things to come.
The Indians found them in complete morass at 30 for seven and it could have been a huge embarrassment for the side but for Irfan Pathan's gritty knock.
Apart from Irfan, the only other Indian batsman to manage a double digit score was Parthiv Patel (12).
Chasing a comfortable target, the Sri Lankans began on a cautious note before Irfan Pathan drew the first blood by trapping Perera (12). That triggered another spectacular batting collapse and Sri Lanka were reeling at 40 for six.
Gayan Wijekoon (26 not out) and Kaushal Lokuarachchi (37 not out) then joined hands and the duo not only arrested the slide but also guided their team to victory.
Irfan Pathan ended with a figure of 10-2-35-2, while Pankaj Singh (2/35) also scalped a couple of Lankan wickets.