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Uthappa, Karthick help Reds pile up 317

Published: Wednesday, October 4, 2006, 1:53 [IST]
 
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Chennai:Aggressive knocks by openers Robin Uthappa (92), Gautham Gambir (74) and a blistering 85 by Dinesh Karthick helped India Reds pile up a challenging 317 for four against India Greens in the Challenger Series cricket tournament for the N K P Salve trophy here tonight.

After Robin Uthappa (99 balls, 6x4, 3x6), who retired midway due to cramps and came back later and Gambhir (93 balls, 8x4) laid the perfect platform, Dinesh Karthick provided the final thrust with a 68-ball knock (8x4, 2x6) to propel Reds to a big total.

It was a good toss to win for the Reds, who required only a simple win to assure themselves a finals' berth against Blues, unlike Greens, who need to win with a bonus point.

Uthappa and last match centurion Gambhir played at a relaxed pace picking the singles and twos with consummate ease. They did not indulge in any big shots despite the power play in progress and were content with rotating the strike.

Left hander Gambhir in fact had a life early when Parthiv Patel failed to hold the edge off medium pacer Praveen Kumar in the fourth over of the innings.

The way Uthappa and Gambhir stitched together their stand of 164 in 27 overs was a treat to watch. Boundaries were at a premium as the 5-4 defensive field set by Green skipper Mohd Kaif came in handy for them to seize up the bowling, which never looked menacing, despite some early juice in the wicket.

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