Pujara leads India B to Challenger Trophy win
Led by Cheteshwar Pujara, India B beat India A by 139 runs in the final of the NKP Salve Challenger Trophy at Rajkot on Tuesday.
India B racked up a massive 356//3 after winning the toss and choosing to bat first on the track that has proved to be generous to batsmen over the past week. Murali Vijay began the onslaught right from the beginning, hitting 42 out of a 68 run opening partnership with Baba Aparajith who was promoted to opener.
Vijay and Pujara added another 192 for the second wicket, Pujara scoring 79 of those runs (80b 4x8). Vijay was dismissed soon after Pujara for 155 (121b, 4x18, 6x5) with the score on 277/3 in 37.5 overs. Kedar Jadhav (60*, 42b, 4x6, 6x2) and Ravindra Jadeja (25*, 25b) put together an unbeaten 79 run partnership for the 4th wicket, steering India B to 356/3. Bowling for India A, Abhimanyu Mithun finished with the sole wicket of Murali Vijay for 79 runs.
Besides a 115 run partnership for the 2nd wicket and 64 run partnership for the 7th wicket, India A’s batsmen could stay at the crease long enough to put India B’s bowlers under pressure.
Shikhar Dhawan (61), Ajinkya Rahane (67), Manish Pandey (47) and Abhimanyu Mithun (24) were the only batsmen to reach double figures, 4 batsmen were dismissed for a duck while a fifth was unbeaten on 0 as India B were bowled out for 217 in 42.1 overs.
Pujara finished with 361 runs in three innings with two unbeaten hundreds and a fifty. Just one dismissal in the series meant his average stands at an unbelievable 361.