Visakhapatnam, March 25 (IANS) India discard Shikhar Dhawan's belligerent century helped India 'Red' register a 23-run win over India 'Blue' in the Deodhar Trophy opener at the ACA-VDCA cricket stadium, here on Saturday.
Dhawan's 122-ball 128 helped India 'Red' post a mammoth 327/8 after being sent in to bat by Harbhajan Singh. In reply, India 'Blue' could only muster 304 runs before being bowled out in 48.2 overs.
Earlier, India 'Red' got off to a perfect start with Dhawan and skipper Parthiv Patel (50) adding 93 runs for the opening wicket before the Delhi batsman added another 103 runs for the third wicket with Jharkhand's Ishank Jaggi (53).
India 'Blue' used as many as seven bowlers to contain the onslaught from Dhawan, who signalled his return to form and made his intentions clear of making the Champions Trophy squad in June, by flashing 13 fours and three massive sixes during his knock.
For the India 'Blue' side, Punjab medium pacer Siddarth Kaul was the pick of the bowlers, with figures of 5/59 while Harbhajan went for a costly spell of 72 runs in his 10 overs.
Chasing the massive target, India 'Blue' fell short by 23 runs, despite Ambati Rayudu's brilliant run-a-ball 92 and vital contributions from Deepak Hooda (46), Manoj Tiwary (37) and Mayank Agarwal (34).
India 'Red' medium pacer Dhawal Kulkarni and left-arm spinner Akshay Karnewar picked up three wickets each while Kulwant Khejroliya and Axar Patel took two wickets each.
Brief scores: India 'Red' 327/8 (Shikhar Dhawan 128, Ishank Jaggi 53, Parthiv Patel 50, Siddharth Kaul 5/59) beat India 'Blue' 304 (Ambati Rayudu 92, Deepak Hooda 46, Manoj Tiwary 37, Akshay Karnewar 3/60, Dhawal Kulkarni 3/64) by 23 runs.