Indore: Paceman Bhuvaneshwar Kumar followed up his team's superb collective batting effort with a four-wicket haul as India Blue lifted the NKP Salve Challenger Series Trophy with a convincing 50-run victory over Delhi on Sunday.
After electing to bat, India Blue scored a challenging 274 for nine as almost all the batsmen contributed in team's cause even as Manish Pandey was the lone half-centurion. Pandey top-scored for India Blue with his 62-run knock while Piyush Chawla (42), Ankit Bawne (37) and Naman Ojha (33) also came up with useful knocks.
Pacemen Parvinder Awana (4 for 39) and Rajat Bhatia (4 for 59) shared eight wickets between them but that did not stop India Blue from posting a very challenging score. Bhuvaneshwar then warmed up for the upcoming Australia series in good fashion as he dismissed Delhi openers Gautam Gambhir and Unmukt Chand, giving India Blue just the kind of start they needed in the defence of their total.
The lean UP bowler then added two more scalps to his kitty as Delhi were bowled out for 224 in 44.4 overs. Bhuvaneshwar gave away just 39 runs in his nine overs.
Puneet Bisht (54 not out) and Milind Kumar (54) batted with determination in the middle-order but failure of big guns such as Virat Kohli (23) and Virender Sehwag (5) cost Delhi the match. The success has come at a crucial time for India Blue skipper Yuvraj Singh as his continuous good batting is now expected to pave the way for his return to national team.
Yuvraj scored just 29 runs on Sunday but he has lot of runs under his felt ever since he was made part of India A team for the series against West Indies A.