Special Correspondent

CUTTACK: India Blue could not have bargained for a better start to its N.K.P. Salve Challenger Trophy campaign at the Barabati Stadium here on Thursday.

Having set a target of 236, the defending champion stopped India Red at 186 to win with a bonus point.

Chasing what looked like a tough but not impossible target, India Red, led by S. Badrinath, did not get off to a good start and failed to build partnerships throughout the innings.

But for the business-like 78-run fifth-wicket stand between M. Vijay (89) and Manoj Tiwary (45 not out), the end could have been far more embarrassing for Red.

The scores:

India Blue: 235 for nine in 50 overs.

India Red: P. Patel c & b Irfan 6, M. Vijay c Sangwan b Ashwin 89, P. Chawla c Karthik b Sangwan 9, S. Badrinath lbw b Nanda 10, Rohit c R. Singh b Trivedi 2, M. Tiwary (not out) 45, A. Nayar st Karthik b Yuvraj 1, Praveen b Ashwin 2, R Vinay Kumar lbw b Nanda 5, L. Balaji b Ashwin 1, M. Parmar lbw b Irfan 4; Extras: (b-5, lb-5, w-2) 12; Total: (in 45.3 overs) 186.

Fall of wickets: 1-18, 2-27, 3-63, 4-66, 5-144, 6-149, 7-158, 8-177, 9-178.

India Blue bowling: Irfan 6.3-2-24-2, Sangwan 6-1-17-1, Trivedi 6-1-27-1, Uthappa 1-0-11-0, Nanda 8-0-35-2, Yuvraj 8-0-35-1, Ashwin 10-0-27-3.

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