Air India posted a facile win © Getty Images (Representational Photo)
India Cements posted a facile win over Air India © Getty Images (Representational Photo)

 

Mumbai: Feb 17 ,2014

 

India Cements took a step closer to qualifying for the semi-finals of the 50-over Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) Corporate when they crushed strong rivals Air India by seven wickets in their second round Group D encounter at the MCA’s BKC Ground.

 

In another second round Group D game, Food Corporation of India (FCI) kept their semi-final hopes alive by defeating State Bank of Mysore (SBM) by four wickets with 14 balls to spare with Rishi Dhawan playing an all-round role for the winners.

 

India Cements, made up of a number of Tamil Nadu Ranji Trophy players, chased down AI’s 272 for eight — built mainly on Yuvraj Singh‘s pulverising 76-ball 79 studded with three sixes and eight fours — on the back of a fine unbeaten century by left-handed opener Abhinav Mukund (133 off 139 balls with 2 sixes and 6 fours). Dinesh Karthik made unbeaten 41 for India Cements.

 

Left-arm spinner Rahil Shah was among the wickets for the second match running, taking 4 for 68 to help India Cements restrict Air India to a total below 300 mark as Yuvraj threatened to score a second century on the trot after making 105 against SBM yesterday at the Wankhede Stadium. The stylish southpaw was caught behind off Yo Mahesh (two for 62).

 

The other notable AI scorer was Sachin Rana, who made a quickfire 28-ball unbeaten 52 laced with five sixes and two fours.

 

In the other game at Wankhede, FCI, who went down by 91 runs to India Cements yesterday at BKC Ground, restricted SBM, who are out of contention for a berth in the last four by slumping to their second defeat in as many games, to 272 for eight and then reached the target by making 273 for six in 47.4 overs.

 

Half-centuries from Pavan Deshpande (59 off 76 balls) and skipper Balchandra Akhil (63 off 81 balls) and their stand of 123 for the third wicket propped up the bankmen after they lost openers K C Avinash and Chetan Williams with only 18 on the board.

 

But the rest of the batsmen, barring S Aravind (40 not out), failed miserably and SBM ended up with a score well below what they looked for as medium pacer Dhawan picked up three for 57.