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Challenger series: India Blues beat India Greens

Tendulkar scored 139 as India Blues inflicted a humiliating defeat on India Greens.

india Updated: Oct 09, 2006 14:25 IST

Sachin Tendulkar smashed a masterly 139 as India Blues inflict a humiliating 266 run defeat on India Greens in the three-team round-robin Challenger Series day/night cricket tournament for the NKP Salve Trophy in Chennai on Monday.

Irfan Pathan made an elegant 54 and Mahendra Singh Dohni in his inimitable style remained unbeaten on 79 while Dravid, electing to bat, made a superb 62 of 63 balls as the Blues crafted an emphatic total of 381.

India Blues missed the services of star opener Virender Sehwag, who twisted his ankle while scampering for a second run yesterday in their match against India Red. Tanmay Srivatsav took to the field in his place.

Needing 7.60 runs an over, India Greens started their reply in a cautious manner but failed to apply themselves to the medium pacers Munaf Patel (2/15) and Irfan Pathan (2/24).

Harbhajan Singh (4/10) was the wrecker-in-chief for the Blues.

India Greens were skittled out for 115 in 26.4 overs after their top four batsmen - Wasim Jaffer (12), Sourav Gaguly (24), Suresh Raina (zero) and Mohd Kaif (Zero) - paid prices for their indiscreet selections of shots.

Once, the middle order collapse was effected, Harbhajan dismissed a settled Parthiv Patel (43) and India U-19 all rounder Praveen Kumar (zero) and the India Blues victory became imminent.

India Blues completed their engagement with a win and a loss.

Umpires, Jasbir Singh and Ravi Subramaniam decided to cut short the break between the innings as the India Greens took longer time for bowling but India Blues completed the formality of winning the match in only 26.4 overs.

When Jaffer and Ganguly commenced their reply after the break between the innings was cut by 30 minutes, the latter was seem to be getting in to his elements as he played with calm assurance.

Jaffer was caught by substitute Ravindra Jadeja (for Sachin Tendulker) for 12 in the bowling of Munaf Patel's third over while Ganguly was shaping up well and two of his perfectly driven shots to cover and mid on to the fence were indicative of something more in store.

But the prince of Kolkata, made a blunder and paid the penalty. Ganguly departed in a pathetic fashion, stepping away to cut Patel and playing well away from his body, giving Jadeja a straightforward catch at point. He face 30 balls and hit four fours during 44-minute stay. His stand with Parthiv Patel yielded 16 runs in 20 balls.

India Greens subsequently lost the vital wickets of Suresh Raina and Kaif to Irfan Pathan before they could open their accounts.

Raina was caught at covers by Harbhajan and Kaif was out in a similar fashion, but the fielder was Dinesh Mongia.

Dravid made some shrewd bolwing changes and Harbhajan replacing Rudra Pratap Singh, took a brace of wickets (first and fourth balls) in his very first over. A well settled Parthiv Patel snicked to Dhoni and Praveen Kumar was stumped for no score. Patel's 43 off 38 balls with eight fours.

After Sourasish Lahari (2) was run out, Piyush Chawla was holed out at long on by Munaf off Harbhajan Singh. India Greens were tottering at 100 for eight in 23 overs.