Cuttack, Oct 26 (IANS) India Blue put up an emphatic performance to register a crushing eight-wicket victory over India Red to lift the NKP Salve Challenger Trophy here Sunday.
India Red were bundled off for 151 before the Blues crossed the target in just 25.4 overs. Ajinkya Rahane and Robin Uthappa gave a solid start to the Blues with a 93-run stand, dashing Reds' hopes of a comeback at Barabati Stadium.
Reds' decision to bat first backfired as they lost wickets at regular intervals before being bowled out in 43 overs. Ashok Dinda and Siddharth Trivedi struck early blows to leave Red reeling at 72 for 6. Captain Subramanian Badrinath (56) and Praveen Kumar (35) saved the blushes with a 66-run stand.
Ashok Dinda (2-23), Irfan Pathan (2-30) and Siddhrath Trivedi (3-23) struck for Blues to scuffle any chance of Red's fight back.
Opener Parthiv Patel was trapped leg before by Dinda in the second over. Rohit Sharma, whose century against India Green helped Red to the final, edged a drive to Virat Kohli at second slip.
Badrinath and Murali Vijay (30) played with caution as the first ten overs brought just 25. Vijay got out trying to step up the run-rate. From there in, it was a middle-order collapse before Parveen and Badrinath gave some respectability to the score.