NKP Salve Challenger Trophy: Ben v Ind A, Match 1
Rajkot, Sep 30: India A cruised to an impressive eight-wicket win against Bengal in the opening game of the 2012-13 NKP Salve Challenger Trophy. After Ishant Sharma (four for 29) and Pragyan Ojha (three for 40) helped bowl out the 2011-12 Vijay Hazare Trophy winners for just 193, Shikhar Dhawan’s unbeaten 99 powered India A to victory in just the 38th over.
Earlier, Bengal lost wickets all too frequently to put up any kind of competitive score. After opener Shreevats Goswami (11) was run-out in the eighth over, Pragyan Ojha picked up the wickets of Sandipan Das (5) and JJ Basu (42) to leave Bengal wobbling at 71 for three. India pacer, Ishant Sharma, then ran through the Bengal middle-order to prevent them from putting up a score of 200-plus. Wriddhiman Saha’s feisty 65 and Arnab Nandi’s 45-ball 43, nonetheless, allowed Bengal to get to a score of 193, as their innings came to an end in the 42nd over.
Chasing 194, Robin Uthappa cracked five boundaries during a 19-ball 25-run cameo, before he was caught off Sourav Sarkar’s bowling with the India A score at 34 at the end of seven overs. Dhawan and Ajinkya Rahane then struck a 150-run stand for the second wicket to set India A up for the win. Rahane (63) fell to Jayojit Basu in the 36th over with India A needing just 10 to win. They reached the target with 76 ball to spare; Dhawan was unbeaten on 99.
The next match of the 2012-13 NKP Salve Challenger Trophy will be played between India A and India B on September 30 at the same venue.
Brief Scores – India A 196/2 in 37.2 overs (Shikhar Dhawan 99*, Ajinkya Rahane 63, JJ Basu 1/15) beat Bengal 193/10 in 41.1 overs (Wriddhiman Saha 65, Ishant Sharma 4/29, Pragyan Ojha 3/40) by eight wickets