Report - India Blue vs India Red
India Blue emerged winners in the run fest at the Holkar Cricket Stadium in the ongoing NKP Salve Trophy. After they were powered to 345 by Akshath Reddy (84 off 96 balls) and Yuvraj Singh (53-ball 84) coupled with Abhishek Nayar’s (39-ball 75-run) blitzkrieg, India Blue were bowled to an 11-run win by the Vinay Kumar-led attack.
Earlier, inserted to bat by India Red, India Blue lost opener Naman Ojha with 33 runs on the board. But Reddy and Manish Pandey rallied on and laid a strong foundation with a 143-run partnership for the second wicket. 14 runs after Umesh Yadav struck Pandey’s middle stump, Abhimanyu Mithun sent back Reddy for 84. However, the fall of two quick wickets did not provide relief to the Red team as all-rounders Yuvraj Singh and Abhishek Nayar went after the bowling. The left-handed batsmen milked the India Red attack and smashed the ball all over the park. The duo’s run-making was halted only in the last over with three balls left when Yuvraj Singh was run-out; but by then the damage had been done.
During their 151-run stand, Yuvraj slammed six fours and five sixes, while Nayar hit the ball to the fence six times and sent it over the rope four times.
While chasing the formidable target, although India Red lost Robin Uthappa early in the innings, Abhinav Mukund and Smit Patel added 134 runs for the second wicket, until Iresh Saxena ended the partnership. And while Kedar Jadhav then joined Patel in the middle and continued to add to the total, the latter retired out for 68 with the score on 177. And three balls later, Bhuvneshwar Kumar took a diving catch at long-on off Yuvraj Singh to send back Yusuf Pathan.
Although Jadhav counterattacked, he soon departed one run short of his half-century. After the 68-run partnership between Jadhav and Ishank Jaggi was ended by Chawla, India Red were unable to build any further substantial partnerships. And although they continued to put up a fight to go past the 300-run mark and take the match into the last over, they were unsuccessful in face of the stiff target. Vinay Kumar claimed four wickets, while Chawla and Saxena claimed two victims apiece. Yuvraj Singh and Bhuvneshwar Kumar took one wicket each, while Ankit Rajpoot was the only India Blue bowler to go wicketless, as they bowled India Red out with a ball to spare.
Brief scores: India Blue 345/4 in 50 overs (PA Reddy 84, Yuvraj Singh 84, A Nayar 75*, M Pandey 70) beat India Red 334 all-out in 49.5 overs (A Mukund 83, Vinay Kumar 4/76, I Saxena 2/45, P Chawla 2/55) by 11 runs.