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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Irani Cup 2008: Rest of India Wins the Title

Rest of India (ROI) has clinched the Irani Cup 2008 trophy, defeating Delhi team by 187 runs with a day at hand. Chasing a target of 378 runs, Delhi’s second innings got all out for 190. Harbhajan Singh picked up four wickets, while Captain Anil Kumble and pacer Zaheer Khan got three wickets apiece for Rest of India.

Opener Gautam Gambhir played an excellent innings of 91, but all of his efforts went to vain as no other Delhi batsman could support him well. Except Rajat Bhatia who scored 31, no other Delhi batsman could stand on in their pursuit to reach a big total of 378 runs. After Gambhir’s 91 and Bhatia’s 31, Mr. Extra scored third highest 21 for Delhi. So, you can guess the failure of the other Delhi batsmen.

Rest of India Captain Anil Kumble won the toss and elected to bat first in the match, but ROI’s first innings bundled out for 252 with the highest score 50 coming from opener Wasim Jaffer’s bat. Ishant Sharma, Sangwan and Nanda took three wickets for Delhi. However, Delhi’s first innings stopped at 177 as Munaf Patel appeared with his top from to pick up four wickets. Then Rest of India put on 302 runs in their second innings, setting up the winning target of 378 runs for Delhi.

No doubt, Rest of India dominated all through the match, while Delhi was always under pressure. Out-of-form Rahul Dravid played well in both the innings and indicated to come back in form ahead of Australia series. Ishant Sharma, Zaheer Khan, Harbhajan Singh were pretty much consistent in the match, while Sangwan has showed that he has the ability to play at the top level of cricket for India. Dhoni played well too. So, I think, Indian selectors will have a number of options available to pick up for the test squad to face Australia in the forthcoming test series.

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