Dhoni and Bisla power Air India Blue to semis
Hurricane centuries from MS Dhoni and Manvinder Bisla helped Air India Blue hammer India Revenue by 143 runs in a Group A match in Mohali which was reduced to 42-overs a side due to rain. Dhoni showed the sort of big-hitting with which he made his name, slamming seven sixes and seven fours on his way to a 61-ball 106. Bisla matched him in sixes count, and hit 14 fours in an equally frenetic 154, as the pair piled on an unbroken second-wicket stand of 200 runs in 105 deliveries. Their partnership came on the back of a slightly more measured 162-run association between Bisla and Chandan Madan (74) for the first wicket.
Air India Blue had amassed 362 at the Twenty20 run-rate of 8.61, and their bowling line-up, which had the likes of Harbhajan Singh and RP Singh, proved much too strong for India Revenue. Opener Ameya Shrikhande waged a lone battle for India Revenue, making a brisk 121, but with the rest of the top six not contributing much, they limped to 222 for 8 in their allotted overs. The crushing win puts Air India Blue in the semi-finals where they will face Tata Sports Club.
For the second day in a row, rain caused the match at Dharamsala to be abandoned without a ball being bowled. Tata Sports Club's Group C encounter against Indian Oil Corporation XI (IOC) was washed out on Thursday, handing them a place in the semi-finals by virtue of their victory over All India Public Sector Sports Promotion Board in the only completed match of the group. IOC were the unluckiest team in the tournament, being knocked out without facing a single ball as both their matches were rained out.
There was no play at Visakapatnam as well, where the match between Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited and Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) was called off due to the death of Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy in a helicopter crash. ONGC's thumping win over Madras Rubber Factory on Wednesday gave them the points to secure a place in the final four, where they take on a strong Air India Red.
Click here for Cricinfo's report of the Group C match between India Cements and Air India Red in Bangalore.