Collage Group wins tournament

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: In a last over finish, Collage Group defeated fancied Indian Airlines by three wickets to win the Lala Raghubir Singh cricket tournament for The Hutch Cup at the Modern School Ground here on Saturday.

On a slow pitch, Airlines, comprising nine Ranji Trophy cricketers in its ranks, appeared to have set a challenging target of 234 mainly through opener Manish Sharma's 71 (84b, 9x4) and two useful knocks in the middle order by Rajat Bhatia (36) and R. Sathish (35). Collage fielders backed the bowlers with some good work even as medium pacers, Vikramjeet Malik (three for 54) and Manu Kumar (two for 36), bowled tight when it mattered.

A brilliant effort of 86 off 91 balls by attacking opener Rakesh Singh put Collage on the course to win the contest. The stocky Rakesh, who hit eight 4s and two 6s, put on 94 runs for the opening stand with Abhinav Verma, who contributed 49 off 62 balls with three 4s and three 6s. This partnership effectively took the match away from Airlines even though Collage made heavy weather towards the end while loosing quick wickets.

For his flawless innings Rakesh, a highly-rated professional in the local circuit, was adjudged `man of the match'. Yashpal Singh of Sonnet Club was declared best batsman of the tournament, while Vikramjeet Malik of Collage was adjudged best bowler. The man of the tournament award went to Parminder Singh of Collage. The victory fetched Collage Rs. 51,000 while Indian Airlines received Rs. 31,000.

The scores:

Indian Airlines 233 for seven in 40 overs (Manish Sharma 71) lost to Collage Group 237 for seven in 39.1 overs (Rakesh Singh 86, Abhinav Verma 49).

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