Duleep Trophy: Gurbani gale scythes through India Green

The fast bowler engineers a spectacular collapse as India Green loses five wickets for 26 runs to hand a first-innings lead of 28 runs to India Red.

Rajneesh Gurbani triggered an almighty collapse on Sunday. Photo: B. Jothi Ramalingam

Twists and turns marked a fascinating third day’s play in the Duleep Trophy at the NPR College Ground on Sunday.

It needed something out of the ordinary to deny India Green the crucial first-innings lead, and Rajneesh Gurbani filled that requirement to rescue India Red as it bowled its opponent out for 309 to take a lead of 28 runs.

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From 283 for five, Gurbani engineered a spectacular collapse. The Vidarbha pacer came up with a splendid spell with the second new ball to claim five wickets for 37 runs from 13 overs. He finished with seven for 81 from 27 overs, to begin the Indian domestic season on a similar note as seven months ago. Last season, he had taken eight wickets — including a hat-trick — to help Vidarbha win its maiden Ranji Trophy, stunning Delhi in the final. With 39 wickets, he was the second highest wicket-taker in the tournament.

Crucial points

On Sunday night, he showed why he was so successful, as he gave little away to snatch away the first-innings points that India Green looked certain to get. Those points seem pretty important since an outright result looks unlikely.

DAY TWO REPORT: Ashutosh, Hirwani prop up India Red

India Red ended the third day at 38 without loss — a lead of 66 — when play had to be called off with 15 minutes still to go as the bowling run-up area needed a repair.

Among the more disappointed men in the India Green team must be B. Indrajith, who scored a fine hundred that was easy on the eye. The Tamil Nadu batsman, who had scored a double hundred a year ago in this competition, played some pleasing drives, used his feat and the crease nicely against the spinners to make 109 (228b, 15x4) before his attempt to drive Gurbani ended in the hands of Sanjay Ramaswamy at slip.

Another batsman to impress was Sudip Chatterjee (82, 205b, 6x4, 1x6), who put on 123 for the third wicket with Indrajith.

The scores
  • India Red – Ist Innings: 337.
  • India Green – Ist Innings: Priyank Panchal c Nadeem b Gurbani 8, Prashant Chopra b Gurbani 19, Sudip Chatterjee (run out) 82, B. Indrajith c Sanjay b Gurbani 109, Parthiv Patel c Wadkar b Porel 11, Gurkeerat Mann c Sanjay b Gurbani 35, Jalaj Saxena c & b Gurbani 27, K. Vignesh b Wadkar 6, Vikas Mishra (not out) 2, Ashoke Dinda c&b Gurbani 0, Ankit Rajpoot c Prithviraj b Nadeem 5, Extras (lb-1, nb-2, w-1) 5; Total (in 111.3 overs): 309
  • Fall of wickets: 1-12, 2-35, 3-158, 4-201, 5-257, 6-283, 7-301, 8-302, 9-302.
  • India Red bowling: Rajneesh Gurbani 27-5-81-7, Yarra Prithviraj 14-6-46-0, Shahbaz Nadeem 34.3-5-77-1, Ishan Porel 16-5-33-1, Mihir Hirwani 16-1-67-0, Writtick Chatterjee 3-0-3-0, B. Aparajith 1-0-1-0.
  • India Red – 2nd Innings: Sanjay Ramaswamy (batting) 16, Abhinav Mukund (batting) 21, Extras (w-1) 1; Total (for no wkt. in 6.3 overs): 38.
  • India Green bowling: Ankit Rajpoot 3.3-0-20-0, Ashoke Dinda 3-0-18-0.