All-rounder Manali Dakshini (49 not out), with the help of tail-enders Tanuja Kanwer (19) and Reemalaxmi Ekka (29 not out), put on 106 runs for the last two wickets to take India Blue home against India Red in the Challenger Trophy at Mulapadu on Thursday.

Punam Raut’s side had alarmingly slumped to 24/8 chasing 130 before a steely Dakshini took her team over the line in a low-scoring thriller.

India Red, led by pacer Shikha Pandey, were bundled out for just 129 after electing to bat first. There were as many as four run outs in the India Red innings, including that of star batter Veda Krishnamurthy, who top-scored with 27 runs. Ekka and Kanwer picked up a couple of wickets each.

In reply, India Blue struggled from the get-go. Pandey trapped opposite number Raut leg-before in the first ball of the chase. Medium-pacer Komal Zanzad and India spinner Radha Yadav then ripped through the middle-order. In the 17th over, the score read an embarrassing 24/8 after Yadav removed Aditi.

Dakshini and Kanwer slowly went about resurrecting the India Blue innings, building a timely 58-run stand for the ninth wicket. Ekka showed nerves of steel and took her team home in the 46th over.

Brief scores:

India Red 129 in 45 overs (Veda Krishnamurthy 27, Harleen Deol 20; Tanuja Kanwer 2/20, Reemalaxmi Ekka 2/26) lost to India Blue 130/9 in 45.5 overs (Manali Dakshini 49*, Reemalaxmi Ekka 29*; Komal Zanzad 3/12, Radha Yadav 3/26) by 1 wicket.