Abhinav, Jaffer score centuries to take India Blue to final

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/c/cricgen3.jpg' class='caption'> Abhinav Mukund (114) and Wasim Jaffer (143) smashed gallant centuries as India Blue crushed India Green by 88 runs on Saturday.

Updated: October 10, 2009 16:39 IST
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Abhinav Mukund (114) and Wasim Jaffer (143) smashed gallant centuries as India Blue crushed India Green by 88 runs here on Saturday to set up the title clash of the NKP Salve Challenger Trophy tournament against India Red.

Mukund and Jaffer raised a huge 265-run stand, highest in Challenger series, for the opening wicket to lead India Blue to a massive 351 for two wickets after opting to bat.

They then restricted a fighting India Green team to 263 for nine to move to the final, scheduled for on Saturday.

Tanmay Srivastava did his best by scoring a century for India Green and erecting a 113-run for the first wicket with fellow opener Srikkanth Anirudh (63) but other batsman crumbled under the pressure of chasing such a big total.

Srivastava's sedate knock came off 133 balls with just seven boundaries while Anirudha batted aggressively taking just 55 balls for his knock, which was studded with nine shots to the fence.

Ajinkya Rahane (29) and R Inder Singh (23) got starts after their skipper Suresh Raina (1) fell cheaply, but could not convert those into big innings.

Paceman Ashok Dinda took three wickets while Siddharth Trivedi and Harabjan Singh took two wickets each for India Blue.

Earlier, Mukund and Jaffer hit majestic centuries after quite a slow start. The two batsmen were in terrific form as they scored boundaries at will, severely punishing the India Green bowlers.

Jaffer hit 17 elegant boundaries and a six in his run-a-ball knock while Mukund's 123-ball innings was studded with nine fours and a six.

Dhawal Kulkarni, who was the only India Green bowler to get wicket, broke the partnership when he castled Mukund. Jaffer's brilliant innings ended when he was run out towards the end.

There was no respite for the India Green bowlers as India Blue skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (34 off 25) and Yusuf Pathan (34 off 18) continued their bashing.

Dhoni and Pathan, with their unbeaten knocks, piled on the agony of their rivals as they creamed India Green bowlers in the last five overs.

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