THURSDAY CAME with sunshine and promised a full 40-over-a-side final at the Ferozeshah Kotla. There was every bit of excitement that was expected but as if the rain gods wanted their way, the game suffered a prolonged interruption. In the end though, ONGC managed to clinch the title by just four runs.
Opener Radhey Shyam Gupta, who opened with Sandeep Sharma, played a stellar role smashing 101 off 115 balls, and with Gautam Gambhir (55 off 64 balls) took his team to 250 for 6 in the allotted quota.
Air India had put ONGC into bat. They lost Sandeep Sharma (0) early through a run-out by Naman Sharma. But then the team has its own list of dependables that has Gautam Gambhir on top of it.
The India batsman took charge of the proceedings with Gupta.
Like in the previous games, a blend of experience and youth paid off for ONGC as Mithun Manhas (45 off 12 balls) and Praveen Kumar (15 off 15 balls) did the damage later in the innings.
For Air India, Deepak Joon and Robin Bisht tried their best but with the run rate shooting to about 8 an over after the rain stoppage, things got beyond them.
With his side needing 12 from the last two balls, Naman raised hopes by hitting a six off Virender Sehwag. But he could manage just a single off the last delivery.
ONGC: 250 for 6 in 40 overs (R. S. Gupta 101, G. Gambhir 55, M. Manhas 45; A. Chandela 2-31) beat Air India: 164 for 5 in 27 overs (D. Joon 44*, R. Bisht 49; M. Kaif 14; V. Sehwag 2-48, I. Sharma 1-4) by four runs.