CUTTACK: Nothing went right for India Green in a do-or-die battle against India Blue in the third match of the N.K.P. Salve Challenger Trophy at the Barabati Stadium here on Saturday. Set a victory target of 219 in 45 overs, the top order miserably failed and a middle order recovery was not good enough.
The India Green innings ended at 199 in 44 overs thus giving Blue a 19-run win with an over to spare.
Young Cheteshwar Pujara stood firm amid the ruins of India Green with a gritty 65 off 99 balls and his 58-ball 59-run partnership with Yusuf Pathan (34, 32b, 2x4, 2x6) was the lone bright spot in an otherwise dull display by Green.
The victory ensured India Blue four points; it had earned five from its first match against India Red. The latter’s victory over India Green earned it four points. After deducting one point that it conceded as bonus to Blue, Red ended with three points.
The scores: India Blue 218 in 44.2 overs. India Green: N. Ojha c Takawale b I. Pathan 11, S. Dhawan c Kohli b I. Pathan 7, S. Raina c Sangwan b Dinda 16, M. Kaif lbw b Nanda 7, C. Pujara c Nanda b Ashwin 65, R. Bhatia c Takawale b Nanda 10, Y. Pathan c & b Ashwin 34, R.P. Singh c Karthick b Ashwin 11, M. Gony c Kohli b Sangwan 9, P. Ojha run out 1, P. Singh (not out) 5, Extras (b-4, lb-12, w-6, nb-1) 23; Total (in 44 overs) 199.
Fall of wickets: 1-10, 2-39, 3-40, 4-77, 5-95, 6-154, 7-174, 8-182, 9-189.
India Blue bowling: I. Pathan 9-0-30-2, P. Sangwan 8-0-39-1, A. Dinda 8-2-32-1, C. Nanda 9-0-31-2, R. Ashwin 9-0-46-3, Y. Singh 1-0-5-0.