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India Blue and Red share Challenger Trophy

India Seniors were 210 for four in 31.2 overs when play was stopped after a downpour.

india Updated: Oct 09, 2006 14:22 IST

India Blue and India Red were declared joint winners of the NKP Salve Trophy after rain played spoilsport in the summit clash of the Challenger cricket series on Wednesday.

India Seniors were 210 for four in 31.2 overs with Virender Sehwag going strong on 90, and Mahendra Singh Dhoni on 6 when play was stopped at 5.12 pm after a downpour.

Sehwag blasted 14 boundaries and a six in his knock.

It rained heavily for an hour and then stopped. The umpires made one inspection and preferred to have another one before deciding on the fate of the match.

When it rained heavily for the second time after 15 minutes,the umpires did not conduct any inspection before calling off the match at 7.45 pm.

V R V Singh was declared man of the series. Each team gets Rs 3.75 lakh as prize money. 

Rahul Dravid included Virender Sehwag in the playing eleven dispelling the rumour that he was not fit after an ankle injury he sustained on Sunday. Sehwag opened the innings with Sachin Tendulkar.

India Red captain Venugopal Rao opted for Subramaniam Badrinath for Delhi's Gautham Gambhir.

Tendulkar, who had scored 61 and 139 in the earlier two matches, could not open his account as Zaheer Khan dismissed him in the last ball of the first over of the innings, caught brilliantly by Robin Uthappa in the covers.

Tendulkar fell to Khan's trap, hitting out to an away delivery.

Sehwag then added 49 runs for the second wicket with Irfan Pathan (22) before the latter was dismissed off Khan's bowling.

Sehwag along with Dravid, who survived two chances, systematically destroyed the attack. The pair traded stroke for stroke and boundary for boundary, at times, in a superb display of one-day batting.

Dravid was dropped before he could open the account, by Venugopal Rao off the very first ball from Zaheer Khan and in the very next over, T P Singh from short third man missed the stumps narrowly. Sehwag too had a reprieve when on 39 as T P Singh fielding at point allowed the ball to pop out of his hands off Shreeshanth's bowling.

Venugopal Rao introduced dual spin attack after the first two power play of 15 overs, but he was forced to withdraw Ramesh Powar after he conceded 21 runs in three overs. Sehwag blasted the bowler for three fours and a six.

The Sehwag-Dravid pair added 50 runs off 46 balls. Sehwag reached his 50 facing 51 balls with eight fours. He then stepped out and lofted Pawar effortlessly over the mid-wicket fence.

The pair brought up the 150 in 24.1 overs, and then came their 100 partnership.

But Dravid was run out when he took off for a run after Sehwag drove to mid-off but Uthappa threw the ball to keeper Dinesh Karthik, who cleared the bails before he could get to the crease.

Dravid made 43 (53 b, 4x4) and his stand with Sehwag yielded 101 runs off 99 balls.

Yuvraj Singh who came in at the fall of Dravid's wicket was trapped leg before by Murali Karthik for 27 (21 b, 5x4).

Sehwag was looking good for a century but rain interrupted the play and both teams were declared joint winners.

India seniors have claimed the trophy on six occasions, while India-A had won four times including sharing it with India-B in 1998-99, when the tournament was known as NPK Salve Challenger Trophy. 

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