Lucknow, May 2 (UNI) Top placed hosts Sahara India today became the new champion of the Sheesh Mahal Cricket Championship for 'Sahara City Homes' Cup beating Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association (UPCA) by seven wickets.
At the K D Singh Babu Stadium here, Sahara regained the vintage trophy after their last win in 2002. It was their 8th win in the 54 year history of the tourney.
With this win, Sahara -- besides the glittering trophy -- pocketed a cheque of Rs three lakh, while UPCA got the runners-up trophy and a cheque of Rs two lakh as prize money.
For his all-round performance, UPCA's Praveen Kumar was adjudged man of the series and took home a purse of Rs 21,000.
In the final, Team India opener Gautam Gambhir, with his fine batting performance of unbeaten 87 runs won the man of the match award.
In contrast, fellow Team India opener Virendra Sehwag (19), who was especially flown in last evening for the final encounter, failed to live upto his reputation.
Batting first, UPCA managed only 169 runs. Barring middle order batsmen Anshul Kapoor (45) and Rohit Prakash (25), other players including new find for Team India Suresh Raina, failed to sparkle.
J P Yadav (3/34) and Sanjay Bangar (2/32) were the main wicket takers for Sahara.
The winners started their campaign in style scoring above six runs per over.
Gambhir hit the bowlers at will all round the park. J P Yadav (37) gave him good company for the third wicket partnership of 77 runs. Yadav was bowled by Ali Murtaza when the team was on the brink of victory. They completed the formalities in 21.5 overs after scoring 172 runs.
Ali Murtaza claimed two wickets in his five overs spell at the cost of 16 runs.
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