Delhi v India Blue, Challenger Trophy final, Indore September 29, 2013

Bhuvneshwar leads Blue to title

ESPNcricinfo staff

India Blue 274 for 9 (Pandey 62, Awana 4-39, Bhatia 4-59) beat Delhi 224 (Milind 54, Bisht 54*, Bhuvneshwar 4-39) by 50 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

India Blue's bowlers, led by Bhuvneshwar Kumar, thwarted Delhi's powerful batting order to win the NKP Salve Challenger Trophy in Indore. India Blue batted first and put up 274, which seemed an inadequate total given the 300-plus scores in the previous two matches, but within the first 10 overs of the chase the four biggest names in the Delhi batting line-up were dismissed.

Bhuvneshwar had Gautam Gambhir toe-ending a catch to Manish Pandey at point in the first over and had the in-form Unmukt Chand bowled by an indipper in the fifth. The next big wicket went to Vinay Kumar, who had Virender Sehwag undone by an incutter after a series of outswingers. That left Virat Kohli as the major threat for India Blue, and though he seemed to be in good touch with three successive fours off Vinay, Kohli was run out off the next ball after a mix-up with Milind Kumar.

At 46 for 4, Delhi were nearly out of the game, and despite half-centuries from Milind and Puneet Bisht, India Blue coasted to a 50-run victory.

Unlike Delhi's top order, India Blue were much more solid at the start of the innings. Akshath Reddy and Naman Ojha put on 53 for the first wicket, after which Manish Pandey scored his second consecutive half-century to guide them through the middle overs.

India Blue's two biggest threats - Yuvraj Singh and Abhishek Nayar - didn't contribute much. Yuvraj edged between the keeper and slip when on 0, but couldn't capitalise on the chance provided as he was lbw to Rajat Bhatia for 29. Nayar has been in red-hot form in the previous two matches, but he too fell lbw to Bhatia, for 12. Bhatia capped a terrific tournament with four top-order wickets, but once he finished his spell in the 39th over, India Blue regained some momentum.

Ankit Bawne hit a 44-ball 37 and Piyush Chawla slammed 42 off just 32 deliveries before Vinay rounded off the innings with a six and a four in the final over. That late hitting lifted India Blue, but it still seemed insufficient till the new-ball spells from Bhuvneshwar and Vinay.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Shashidhar on September 30, 2013, 20:07 GMT

    Both Bhuvaneshwar & Vinay used the new ball very well against very good top order batsmen of Delhi. Vinay showed he can be lethal. Good luck to both Bhuvaneshwar & Vinay against Australians.

  • binu on September 30, 2013, 18:46 GMT

    The teams were not exiting need to include U19 players ,BCCI planned three tournaments in the same time along with CLT20 not helping players to participate in this talent hunting tournament , i felt always Bcci is organizing challenger cup in a hurry, consider this as a prestige tournament, add one more team India Green and include a T20 leg as well to make the tournament exciting

  • Dummy4 on September 30, 2013, 8:44 GMT

    Unmukt will replace Rohit Sharma in near future

  • Vinod on September 30, 2013, 6:47 GMT

    the run out of virat proved costly for delhi.

  • Cric on September 30, 2013, 1:55 GMT

    Just wanna say that ...Well done Yuvi & India Blue

  • Android on September 29, 2013, 18:13 GMT

    yuvi's performance was excellent in this series he should get a chance to come back in the international odi side.

  • ESPN on September 29, 2013, 16:49 GMT

    Viru could not move his feet to an in cutter from vinay and it proves the form in which he is in.less said about Gauti is better for him .Slog it out in Ranji

    trophy and force the selectors to take a look and by words.

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