Duleep Trophy: Blue sets up summit clash with Red

Green’s Sarwate scalps five on opening day.

India Blue batsman Dhruv Shorey (right) is stumped by India Green Captain Parthiv Patel bowling byAditya Sarwate during the Duleep Trophy cricket match at NPR College ground, Natham, Dindigul district on Saturday.   -  B. Jothi Ramalingam

The 83-run first-innings lead against India Green helped India Blue seal a place in the final of the Duleep Trophy at the NPR College grounds here on Saturday. Blue will take on Red in the summit clash here from September 4.

On the final day, left-arm spinner Aditya Sarwate (five for 32) offered Green a ray of hope. Blue began on a shaky note, losing openers skipper Faiz Fazal and Smit Patel in the space of 18 balls. Sarwate and Vikas Mishra, the other left-arm spinner, rattled them with deliveries that kept dangerously low.

The duo kept piling on the pressure, and with the fielders backing them up, Blue folded up for 117. Chasing a target of 201 in 69 overs looked a Herculean task on a spiteful turner. To prove that right, left-arm spinner Saurabh Kumar removed the Green openers within the first three overs before rain stopped play for two hours.

After a brief resumption, play was officially called off.

The scores:

India Blue — 1st innings: 340.

India Green — 1st innings: 257.

India Blue — 2nd innings: Faiz Fazal b Mishra 15, Smit Patel b Sarwate 15, Dhruv Shorey st. Parthiv b Sarwate 40, Ganesh Satish c Chopra b Mishra 13, Ricky Bhui c Sarwate b Mann 0, Nikhil Gangta b Sarwate 16, Swapnil Singh lbw Sarwate 0, Saurabh Kumar c Mann b Mishra 2, Jaydev Unadkat st. Parthiv b Sarwate 0, Basil Thampi (not out) 13, Akshay Wakhare lbw b Gurkeerat 1; Extras (lb-2): 2; Total (in 34 overs): 117.

Fall of wickets: 1-26, 2-36, 3-60, 4-81, 5-100, 6-100, 7-103, 8-103, 9-103.

India Green bowling: Vignesh 5-1-18-0, Sarwate 13-2-32-5, Mishra 8-2-36-3, Gurkeerat 8-1-29-2.

India Green — 2nd innings: Prashant Chopra c Gangta b Saurabh 1, Priyank Panchal c Fazal b Saurabh 2, Sudip Chatterjee (not out) 11, B. Indrajith (not out) 5; Extras (lb-1): 1: Total (for two wkts. in 6.4 overs): 20.

Fall of wickets: 1-2, 2-5.

India Blue bowling: Saurabh 3.4-0-11-2, Swapnil 3-0-8-0.

Blue 3 points, Green 1.

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