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Chawla's stunning 92 in vain as Challenger final is tied

Last updated on: October 13, 2011 23:35 IST

India Red's Piyush Chawla's stunning 85-ball 92 went in vain, as the NKP Salve Challenger tournament final against India Green ended in a tie in Nagpur on Thursday.

The teams were declared joint-winners.

India Green, after posting 238 for eight, were cruising, having reduced India Red to 102 for five by the 23rd over of the run-chase. But Chawla single-handedly kept India Red in the hunt of the 239 target with a flurry of shots before his side almost lost the plot.

India Red kept losing wickets and the asking rate crept up towards the close.

India Green's bowlers were also have to be blamed for allowing Chawla to take the match to the wire and sensationally tie it.

The match seemed to have slipped out of India Red's hands as they needed 46 runs from the last five overs and Chawla struck a flurry of boundaries to take it to the last over.

Needing 17 more from the last over, bowled by Samad Fallah, Chawla took 16 from it with the help of a four and six.

India Red could have even won the match, as after hitting a six off the penultimate ball, they needed two runs to win.

But, to cap the thrilling match, Chawla was run-out off a wide ball. He ran for a single and India Green wicketkeeper Muralidharen Gautam had all the time in the world to remove the bails for the match to end in a tie.

For India Green, Harbhajan, who top-scored with a 54-ball unbeaten 49 when his side was put in to bat, Abhimanyu Mithun and Iqbal Abdulla scalped three wickets each.

Earlier, India Red produced disciplined bowling to restrict India Green to 238 for eight.

Put in to bat, India Green lost wickets at regular intervals, but thanks to captain Harbhajan's unbeaten 49 off 54 balls, which included three fours and a six, they were able to post a respectable total.

T P Sudhindra (2 for 36), Pankaj Singh (2 for 44) and Jaydev Unadkat (2 for 65) claimed two wickets each, while Piyush Chawla (1 for 48) and Yusuf Pathan (1 for 6) took one each.

Mohammad Kaif (41) and Srikkanth Anirudha (39) also made useful contributions.

Wednesday's centurions Robin Uthappa (7) and Anirudha failed to repeat their batting blitzkrieg. The former departed in the third over, dismissed by Unadkat.

Anirudha went after the India Red bowlers, though new-batsman-in Ishank Jaggi (11) did not lend him good support at the other end.

Anirudha found an able ally in Kaif and the duo put up a 34-run stand before Sudhindra claimed the prized wicket of Anirudha for a 41-ball 39, which was studded with seven fours.

Kaif then partnered Tirumalasetti Suman (29) to steady the boat; the two shared a crucial 59-run partnership for the fourth wicket.

Just when things started looking bright for Greens, Yusuf Pathan took a catch off his own bowling to dismiss Suman.

In the next over, Pankaj Singh trapped Kaif LBW to put an end to his knock of 41 off 67 balls, including three boundaries.

Soon, the Greens were reeling at 151 for six. But Harbhajan led from the front. The captain carried his bat through the innings, batting with Sumit Narwal (18), Iqbal Abdulla (18) and then Abhimanyu Mithun (12 not out) to take the team beyond the 200-run mark.


India Green:
R Uthappa c Mukund b Unadkat 7
S Anirudha c Pathan b Sudhindra 39
I Jaggi c Saha b Unadkat 11
M Kaif lbw b Pankaj Singh 41
T Suman c&b Pathan 29
C Gautam lbw b Sudhindra 6
Harbhajan Singh not out 49
S Narwal c Rayudu b Chawla 18
Iqbal Abdulla c Saha b Pankaj Singh 18
A Mithun not out 12
Extras: (LB-5, W-3) 8
Total: (8 wickets in 50 overs) 238

Fall of wickets: 1-13, 2-41, 3-75, 4-134, 5-136, 6-151, 7-186, 8-213.

Bowling: J Unadkat 9-1- 65-2, Pankaj Singh 10-0-44-2, T Sudhindra 8.1-0-38-2, B Bhatt 10-0-32-0, P Chawla 10-0-48-1, Y Pathan 2.5-0-6-1.

India Red:
 A Mukund st Gautam b Harbhajan 37
 S Dhawan c Narwal b Mithun 1
 A Rayudu lbw b Harbhajan 25
 Y Pathan c Narwal b Mithun 8
 A Menaria lbw b Harbhajan 21
 W Saha lbw b Abdulla 19
 P Chawla run out 92
 T Sudhindra c Narwal b Mithun 15
 P Singh b Abdulla 3
 B Bhatt c Uthappa b Abdulla 4
 J Unadkat not out 1
 Extras: (b-1, lb-2, w-9) 12
 Total: (All out in 49.5 overs) 238

 Fall of wickets: 1-13, 2-54, 3-71, 4-83, 5-102, 6-131, 7-163, 8-187, 9-213.

 Bowling: Mithun 10-0-41-3; Fallah 9.5-1-67-0; Narwal 1-0-8-0; Abdulla 10-1-37-3; Harbhajan 10-0-37-3; Suman, 9-0-45-0.