Indrajith ton lifts India Red

It was lovely cricket on a lively pitch, as Baba Indrajith defied the odds to score a sparkling century to take India Red to 291 for nine against India Blue on the opening day of the second league match of Duleep Trophy at the Green Park Stadium here on Wednesday.

Baba Indrajith on way to his century in Kanpur on Wednesday.   -  Kamesh Srinivasan

It was lovely cricket on a lively pitch, as Baba Indrajith defied the odds to score a sparkling century to take India Red to 291 for nine against India Blue on the opening day of the second league match of Duleep Trophy at the Green Park Stadium here on Wednesday.

Watched by an appreciative bunch of spectators, who were restricted to one stand, the 23-year-old Tamil Nadu batsman, Indrajith thrived under the floodlights as he blended caution with aggression for a fruitful knock, that was a joy to watch.

The groundsman Shiv Kumar had promised to give a good pitch that would help everyone and there was enough for the medium pacers. Ankit Rajpoot and Jaydev Unadkat bowled their heart out, to bag five wickets between them.

With skipper Suresh Raina making a breakthrough, by bowling opener Sudip Chatterjee and later taking two superb catches, alternately diving to his right and left to help Unadkat to two wickets, the Blues

were in the driver’s seat with Red on 205 for nine, at the end of two sessions.

However, the joy was short lived for Blues, as the last batsman Vijay

Gohil proved more than a match for the occasion as he gave enough support and confidence for Indrajith who hammered a dozen fours and two sixes to reach an improbable century.

Indrajith, scored 88 runs in the last session in partnership with the last three batsmen after the team was precariously placed at 160 for seven.

In a way, it was a mere continuation of Red’s dominant show, as Priyank Panchal had scored a century in both the innings and captain Dinesh Karthik had scored one in the last match against India Green at the Ekana Stadium in Lucknow.

More than that, it was continuation of good times for the dynamic Indrajith as he had scored 64 and 138 in his last first class match against Gujarat earlier in the year. It was the fifth first class century for Indrajith who handled both the medium pacers and spinners with equal poise and composure.

Apart from not having players like paceman Ishant Sharma, who was originally named in the squad, Blues lost the plot after having taken a stranglehold over the proceedings. The Red openers had put on 70 for the first wicket.

Dinesh Karthik was upset to be ruled leg before wicket, when he looked set for another good knock. Unlike Lucknow, when wickets tended to tumble in the cool evening, it was vibrant batting that greeted the faithful fans here, who wanted more when the play stopped at 9 p.m. after 30 minutes of additional time.

 

Brief scores

India Red 291-9 (Baba Indrajith batting 120; Ankit Rajpoot 3-44) vs India Blue