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Challenger series final ends in a tie

Nagpur: India Red`s Piyush Chawla smashed a stunning 85-ball 92 as the NKP Salve Challenger tournament final against India Green ended in a tie in dramatic circumstances for the two sides to be declared joint winners here on Thursday.

India Green were cruising all along after posting 238 for eight as they reduced India Red to 102 for five in the 23rd over of the latters` run chase. Chawla then single-handedly kept India Red in the hunt to chase down the target of 239 with flurry of shots before his side almost lost the plot.

India Red kept on losing wickets and asking rate crept up towards the close and India Green bowlers were also have to be blamed for allowing Chawla to take the match to the wire and sensationally tie it. The match seemed to have slipped out of India Red`s hands as they needed 46 runs from the last five overs and Chawla struck a flurry of boundaries to take the match to the last over.

India Red needed 17 for a win from the last over bowled by Samad Fallah and Chawla took 16 from it with the help of a four and six. India Red could have even won the match as after hitting a six from the penultimate ball, they needed two runs to win.

But to cap the thrilling match, Chawla was run out off a wide ball. He ran for a single and India Green wicketkeeper Muralidharen Gautam had all the time in the world to remove the bails for the match to end in a tie.For India Green, Harbhajan, who top-scored with a 54-ball unbeaten 49 when his side were put into bat, Abhimanyu Mithun and Iqbal Abdulla scalped three wickets each.

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