Sep 29, 2013
Despite regular breakthroughs from Delhi’s Rajat Bhatia (four for 59) and Parvinder Awana (four for 39), India Blue reached 274 for nine in the final of the NKP Salve Challenger Trophy 2013. An important half-century from Manish Pandey (62) and vital contributions from Ankit Bawne (37) and Piyush Chawla (44) down the order helped their side post a good total.
Openers Akshath Reddy and Naman Ojha had a confident start. Both batsmen looked set to make big scores before Ojha played on a length delivery from Parwinder Awana to give the opposition their first wicket in the 12th over.
A few overs later, Reddy followed suit as he was foxed by a slower one from Rajat Bhatia. This was Bhatia’s first ball off his spell.
With Yuvraj Singh and Manish Pandey in the middle, another big partnership was brewing. The duo had the responsibility of rebuilding the score after they were reduced to 62 for two in the 17th over.
Yuvraj and Pandey added 69 runs for the third wicket before the former was undone by a controversial decision that saw him being adjudged leg before wicket off a delivery that may have pitched outside the leg stump.
New man Abhishek Nayar joined a settled Pandey and they added 30 runs before Bhatia trapped the former plumb in front. Nayar was looking to flick a delivery that pitched on middle and leg and missed it. The ball him him in line and the umpire didn’t make a mistake this time.
Bhatia then picked the most crucial wicket of the game, that of Pandey who was playing well after having brought up his half-century. His knock of 62 from 78 deliveries, including six fours and six, came to an end when he hit the ball straight back to the bowler and Bhatia did well to hang on to low catch. At this stage, India Blue were on 178 for five in the 37th over.
Ankit Bawne and Piyush Chawla added 46 runs at almost run-a-ball for the sixth wicket to keep their side in the game. Awana returned to provide the vital breakthrough by trapping Bawne before the stumps with a ball that nipped back in after pitching on the off-stump.
Bawne’s 44-ball 37 added a lot of weight to India Blue’s efforts. Chawla carried on and added two quickfire partnerships of 17 runs each with Bhuvneshwar Kumar and R Vinay Kumar for the eighth and ninth wicket respectively to take the team’s total to 274 for nine in 50 overs.
India Blue 274 for 9 in 50 overs (Manish Pandey 62, Piyush Chawla 42; Parvinder Awana 4 for 39, Rajat Bhatia 4 for 59) vs Delhi