Cricket slipped into super slow motion, keeping in pace with the slow pitch. Runs were hard to come by, but wickets tumbled quickly, especially in the cooler climes of the evening, as the pink ball possibly played the devil under the floodlights.
With Krishnappa Gowtham and Karn Sharma bagging nine wickets between them, India Green was bundled out for 157 after it had wiped out the tail of India Red in the first session of the day.
In its second innings, India Red was 12 for one at close after extended play. Thanks to the dynamic batting of Dinesh Karthik, who compiled a compact half century after having resumed on a laborious 15, there was some entertainment.
After resuming at 232, Red had reached 323 while losing the last five wickets, on a warm afternoon. The cricket fans were a lot more relaxed and wise with their experience on the opening day. Most of them waited for the evening before making it a lively atmosphere with their strong presence. They whistled to welcome the giant TV screens displaying the basic score, throwing some light on the proceedings, supplementing the manual score boards. It was another matter that the scores did not match.
Even as the scoreboards became dynamic, cricket tended to be a bit pedestrian as there was not much life in the pitch, to help either the batsmen or the bowlers to ply their trade with vigour. Whatever little life that thrived around the pitch was also put to ‘sudden death’ as the ground staff regularly fumigated the area, to ensure a healthy stay in the middle for the cricketers, some of whom had reported sick with dengue in recent times.
The centurion for India Red, Priyank Panchal had candidly observed that 350 would be a competitive total, after he had gauged the pitch and conditions during his painstaking knock. More than anything, it proved a test of temperament for the players, rather than their technique or tenacity.
Of course, there was no denying credit for Prashant Chopra (65) and Karun Nair (37) who put on 113 runs for the third wicket for Green, hammering a dozen boundaries along the way. But, such a strong foundation went waste.
Busy in springing a monumental stadium to life, meeting the exacting world standards, the authorities possibly forgot that the real life of cricket mostly lies between the stumps, spread over a mere 22 yards.
India Red (1st innings): Priyank Panchal lbw b Karun Nair 105; Sudip Chatterjee b Aniket Choudhary 52; Ishank Jaggi b Murali Vijay 23; Dinesh Karthik lbw b Md. Siraj 50; Rahul Singh Gahlaut c Parthiv Patel b Karun Nair 4; Rishabh Pant c Parthiv Patel b Murali Vijay 11; Krishnappa Gowtham b Navdeep Amarjeet Saini 22; Karn Sharma c Parthiv Patel b Md. Siraj 12; CV Milind (not out) 6; Siddharth Kaul c Karun Nair b Shahbaz Nadeem 6; Ashoke Dinda c Mayank Dagar b Murali Vijay 11; Extras (b-8, lb-9, nb-4) 21; Total (fall out in 110.5 overs) 323.
Fall of wickets :1-83, 2-158, 3-199, 4-203, 5-221, 6-254, 7-286, 8-296, 9-304.
India Green bowling: Aniket Choudhary 17-3-44-1; Navdeep Amarjeet Saini 17-4-33-1; Shahbaz Nadeem 30-6-80-1; Md. Siraj 15-2-43-2; Mayank Dagar 15-2-43-0; Karun Nair 5-1-17-2; Murali Vijay 11.5-3-46-3.
India Green (1st innings): Ravikumar Samarth (run out) 5; Murali Vijay lbw b Karn Sharma 4; Prashant Chopra ; Karun Nair c Rahul Singh Gahlaut b Krishnappa Gowtham 37; Parthiv Patel c Sudip Chatterjee b Krishnappa Gowtham 17; Ankit Bawane st Rishabh Pant b Karn Sharma 1; Mayank Dagar c Sudip Chatterjee b Krishnappa Gowtham 4; Shahbaz Nadeem c Rishabh Pant b Karn Sharma 5; Aniket Choudhary c & b Karn Sharma 2; Md. Siraj st Rishabh Pant b Krishnappa Gowtham 1; Navdeep Amarjeet Saini (not out) 1; Extras (b-11, nb-4) 15; Total (all out in 49.5 overs) 157.
Fall of wickets: 1-6, 2-10, 3-123, 4-137, 5-140, 6-144, 7-149, 8-155, 9-155.
India Red bowling: Ashoke Dinda 7-0-26-0; Karn Sharma 14-3-39-4; Siddharth Kaul 5-2-15-0; Krishnappa Gowtham 19.5-5-46-5; CV Milind 4-1-20-0.
India Red (2nd innings): Priyank Panchal (batting) 11; Sudip Chatterjee lbw b Murali Vijay 7; Rahul Singh Gahlaut (batting) 1; Extras 0; Total (for one wicket in 13 overs) 19.
Fall of wicket: 1-12.
India Green bowling: Md. Siraj 2-0-10-0; Shahbaz Nadeem 6-5-1-0; Murali Vijay 5-2-8-1.
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