Africa Asia

Two excellent tracks in Bangalore and Chennai produced some exceptional cricket, all the more creditable for the conditions in which the matches were played. Even with temperatures in the mid-30s and humidity in the high 80s, the players' competitive instincts rose to the challenge.

The way Africa fought in all three matches, chasing huge totals after losing the toss every time was highly creditable Shaun Pollock's 130 off 110 balls in the first match as he hunted down 317 in partnerships with Elton Chigumbura and Thomas Odoyo was a brilliant demonstration of pacing and controlling a run-chase.

Asia posted an even bigger score (337) in the second match, in Chennai, and Africa weathering Dilhara Fernando's superb 4-36, themselves made over 300.

The third match was even closer. Asia, recovering from 72-5 after some exceptional African bowling and fielding made 331 thanks to two contrastingly sublime centuries from Mahela Jayawardene (107 of 106) and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (139* off 97). Africa came within 13 runs of victory thanks to a 122-run partnership off 88 balls from Justin Kemp and Shaun Pollock.

Asia won the Twenty20 match, the first international of the kind to be played in India, by six wickets in Bangalore. Chasing 109, they reached the target in the 16th over thanks to Tamim Iqbal’s opening 30 (off 22 balls, three 4s and 1 six) and Tillekaratne Dilshan’s 47* (off 36 balls, six 4s and 1 six).

Asia Women beat Africa Women by 60 runs just before the Men’s Match as medium pacers Rumeli Dhar (4-8) and Jhulan Goswami (3-8) did the damage for Asia. Sulakshana Naik made 31 in Asia’s 105.