After Sachin's fireworks and Dhoni's brilliance illuminated the proceedings and propelled the Men in Blue to an imposing 381 for six in 50 overs, it turned out to be an abject surrender by the India Greens who were folded up for 115 in 26.4 overs.
Barring Sourav Ganguly (24) and Parthiv Patel (43), who were aiming for India come back, none of the future hopefuls really made an attempt as Harbhajan Singh, Munaf Patel and Irfan Pathan shared the spoils picking wickets at regular intervals. The Greens collapsed like a pack of cards and the match ended long before the scheduled close.
Chasing an imposing total, India Green's hopes were pinned on quite a few players, including former skipper Ganguly.
Sourav might have impressed the selectors with an economic spell of 5-0-23-0, the best among the Green bowlers especially when Sachin was in rollicking form. But his bat let him down as his stint at the crease lasted just 44 minutes.
After what appeared to be a smooth start, Jaffer (12, 18 balls, 1x4) signalled the shape of things to come falling to a brilliant catch at point by substitute Ravindra Jadeja off Munaf Patel.
Sourav followed suit after hitting four exquisitely timed boundaries in his 30-ball essay. But the manner in which he got out did not befit his stature. Attempting a square drive off Munaf, he only spooned a catch to Jadeja at point. Aiming to make a come back into the national side after being cold-shouldered for nearly one year, it was yet another failure for Ganguly with the selectors watching. However, all is not lost for him as he gets to play against India Reds in the last league match tomorrow.
Even as Parthiv Patel, promoted up in the order, managed to hold one end up, it was disaster for the Greens as Suresh Raina and skipper Md Kaif fell in a space of nine balls without troubling the scorers.
In his ten-ball tenure, Raina was all at sea and offered a tame catch to Harbhajan at covers off Pathan, who also accounted for Kaif in his next over. Kaif tried to cut and hit straight to Dinesh Mongia at point as Greens were reduced to 55 for four in 13.1 overs from 31 for no loss in 5.4 overs.
Greens were in further trouble at 91 for seven as Parthiv (43, 38 balls, 8x4) departed followed by Praveen Kumar (0) and S.Lahiri (two). Piyush Chawla was caught at long on by Munaf to give Harbhajan his third wicket.
Parthiv was caught down the leg side by Dhoni off Harbhajan, while Praveen stepped out and missed the line. Lahiri could not beat the throw from Irfan and was caught marginally short of crease by the third umpire.
Hemang Badani (20) , Piyush Chawla (two) and Nehra (0) all were caught in the deep as the spineless display by the Greens ended in 26.4 overs.
India Blues: Tanmay Srivastava c Jaffer b Balaji 0 Sachin Tendulkar c Kaif b S Lahiri 139 Irfan Pathan c Lahiri b Piyush Chawla 54 Rahul Dravid c Wasim Jaffer b Nehra 62 M S Dhoni (not out) 79 Yuvraj Singh c Piyush Chawla b Praveen Kumar 19 Dinesh Mongia c Kaif b Balaji one Ajit Agarkar (not out) 17 Extras: (b-1, nb-4, w-5) 10 Total: 381 for six in 50 overs.
Fall of wickets: 1-2, 2-132, 3-226, 4-286, 5-322, 6-328,
Bowling: L Balaji 8-0-62-2 Ashish Nehra 10-0-67-1 Praveen Kumar 9-1-77-1 Piyush Chawla 6-1-39-1 Hemang K Badani 4-0-44-0 Saurav Ganguly 5-0-23-0 S Lahiri 8-0-68-1.
India Greens: Wasim Jaffer c (sub) Ravindra Jadeja b Munaf Patel 12 Saurav Ganguly c (sub) Ravindra Jadeja b Munaf Patel 24 Parthiv Patel c Dhoni b Harbhajan 43 Suresh Raina c Harbhajan b Irfan Pathan 0 Md. Kaif c Dinesh Mongia b Irfan Pathan 0 Hemang Badani c Agarkar b Dinesh Mongia 20 Praveen Kumar st.Dhoni b Harbhajan 0 S Lahiri (run out) 2 Piyush Chawla c Munaf b Harbhajan 2 L Balaji (not out) 5 Ashish Nehra c Yuvraj b Harbhajan 0 Extras: (lb-2, nb-1, w-4) 7 Total: 115 all out in 26.4 overs.
Fall of wickets: 1-31, 2-48, 3-52, 4-55, 5-88, 6-88, 7-91, 8-100, 9-111, 10-115
Bowling: Ajit Agarkar 5-0-33-0 Munaf Patel 5-1-15-2 R P Singh 4-0-23-0 Irfan Pathan 7-0-24-2 Harbhajan singh 4.4-1-10-4 Dinesh Mongia 1-0-8-1 .