DateLine: 4th September 2009
The Indian skipper MS Dhoni and Manvinder Bisla scored sparkling centuries to take Air India Blue into the semi-finals as they hammered India Revenue by 143 runs in a Group A match in Mohali. The match was reduced to 42-overs a side due to rain. Dhoni and Bisla muscled their way to their respective centuries as the India Revenue bowlers were reduced to just bowling machines. The pair added 200 in 105 balls as Air India Blue settled for 362 for the loss of just one wicket.
The bowling line-up of Air India Blue was too strong for India Revenue to mount any sort of fightback. Opener Ameya Shrikhande waged a lone battle for India Revenue, making an eye-catching 121, but with the rest of the top six not contributing much, they limped to 222 for 8 in their allotted overs.
No play was held at Visakapatnam, where the match between Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited and Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) as the match was called off due to the death of Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy in a helicopter crash. ONGC's win over Madras Rubber Factory on Wednesday gave them the points to secure a place in the final four, where they take on a strong Air India Red.
Rain caused the match at Dharamsala to be abandoned without a ball being bowled. Tata Sports Club's Group C encounter against Indian Oil Corporation XI (IOC) was washed out on Thursday, handing them a place in the semi-finals by virtue of their victory over All India Public Sector Sports Promotion Board in the only completed match of the group. IOC was knocked out without facing a single ball as both their matches were rained out.
Suresh Raina made an impressive unbeaten 92 to power Air India Red to a thumping seven-wicket victory over India Cements in their last Group D match to book a semifinal berth in the Sahara BCCI Corporate Trophy limited overs tournament.
Air India Red won the toss and decided to put field. India Cements made 243 for nine thanks mainly to contributions from S Badrinath (91) and Rahul Dravid (66) after the match was reduced to 47 overs a side following a brief shower during the 15th over. A 133-run partnership between Badrinath and Dravid for the third wicket propelled India Cements to 243 for 9. After the dismissal of Dravid and Badrinath, the lower order crumbled.
Air India Red chased down the target of 244 with the loss of three wickets and four overs remaining. Raina was ably supported by opener and wicketkeeper Naman Ojha, who made a 75-ball 59 (5 fours; 2 sixes). The duo put on 109 runs for the second wicket from 19.2 overs to take their team to win.
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