Report: India Blue vs Delhi
India Blue lifted the NKP Salve Challenger Trophy 2013-14 with a 50-run win over Delhi at the Holkar Cricket Stadium. While Manish Pandey starred with the bat, Bhuvneshwar Kumar was the leading wicket-taker for India Blue with four wickets.
Earlier after opting to bat first, the Yuvraj Singh-led India Blue team set Delhi a 275-run target in the final. After Parvinder Awana ended the opening stand for 53 by castling Naman Ojha, Rajat Bhatia followed up with the wicket of Akshath Reddy a few overs later. The senior bowler then dealt telling blows by trapping in-form batsmen Yuvraj Singh and Abhishek Nayar leg-before and leaving India Blue on 161 for four. And 17 runs later, Bhatia caught Pandey off his own bowling. Pandey, who had held up one end until then, returned to the dressing room for 62.
A while later, after being brought back into the attack, Awana claimed Ankit Bawne and followed up with the wickets of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Piyush Chawla. Chawla, who had replaced Pandey in the middle, made a useful 42 before top-edging Awana to the ‘keeper and becoming the bowler’s fourth scalp, in the penultimate over. But Vinay Kumar took the attack to Ashish Nehra in the last over, and hit him for a six and a four to claim 14 runs from that over.
Defending 274, Bhuvneshwar Kumar removed Gautam Gambhir in the first over and castled Unmukt Chand in the fourth over to leave Delhi on 17 for two. And nine runs later Vinay Kumar bowled Virender Sehwag and then ran Virat Kohli out with a direct hit shortly after that. Although Milind Kumar and Bhatia tried to salvage the Delhi innings, their partnership was halted for 74 by Chawla, who also claimed Bhatia three runs later. With the team struggling on 123 for six, Puneet Bisht put up a lone fight and was left stranded on 54 as Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Vinay Kumar warpped up the Delhi innings for 224. While Bhuvneshwar accounted for Varun Sood and Ashish Nehra’s wickets, Vinay Kumar had Awana and Pawan Suyal edge the ball to the ‘keeper.
Brief scores: India Blue 274/9 in 50 overs (M Pandey 62, P Chawla 42, P Awana 4/39, R Bhatia 4/59) beat Delhi 224 all-out in 44.4 (M Kumar 54, P Bisht 54, B Kumar 4/39, Vinay Kumar 3/64) by 50 runs
Man of the Match: Bhuvneshwar Kumar