Duleep Trophy: Dhruv Shorey keeps India Blue afloat

With an unbeaten 86, the batsman ensures his team remains in the hunt of a first-innings lead after Day Two.

Dhruv Shorey prepares to play a feisty cut en route to his unbeaten 86 on Friday.   -  B. Jothi Ramalingam

After its bowlers fought back in the first session, India Blue ended Day Two on 183 for five, trailing by 133 runs thanks to Dhruv Shorey’s unbeaten 86 (174b, 8x4, 1x6) in the Duleep Trophy at the NPR College ground here.

Resuming at 256 for four, India Red had a chance to post a big total, but some disciplined bowling from India Blue ensured its opponent could only 60 runs to its overnight total. Blue’s reply got to a terrible start with brilliant opening spells from off-spinner Parvez Rasool and pacer Rajneesh Gurbani, which left Blue tottering at 18 for three.

Shorey, Bhui to the rescue

It was then left to Delhi’s Dhruv Shorey and Andhra’s Ricky Bhui to come up with the rescue act, stitching a 112-run stand for the fourth wicket. Shorey played a crafty innings and made full use of the reprieve he was given on six when Shahbaz Nadeem dropped an easy chance off Abhimanyu Mithun’s bowling at point.

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Shorey’s innings was one of grit and patience as he hardly played any loose shots after the reprieve. He started with two boundaries off Ishan Porel — a cover drive and an on-drive — to get going before he attacked Rasool, hitting him for a six over long-on followed by a four to cover-point. Shorey got to his fifty with a boundary to mid-wicket off Nadeem.

Quick wickets

Earlier, overnight batsman Siddhesh Lad started his day with a beautiful cover drive to the fence but was soon lulled into an expansive drive by pacer B. Ayyappa and was caught at gully, 12 short of what would have been a well-deserved ton.

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Seamer Jaydev Unadkat used the angles well, coming around the wicket and bowling a tight spell. He removed Parvez Rasool and could have removed Abhimanyu Mithun also after he squared up the Karnataka player only for the wicketkeeper K. S. Bharat to spill what seemed an easy catch.

Off-spinner Akshay Wakhare and left-arm spinner Saurabh Kumar bowled well, finding lots of turn, and chipped in with two wickets each to finish India Red’s innings just before the first break.

Detailed scorecard
  • India Red: Sanjay Ramaswamy c Bhui b Wakhare 72, Abhinav Mukund lbw Unadkat 0, B Aparajith c Fazil b Kumar 48, Ashutosh Singh not out 46, Siddhesh Lad c Anmolpreet b Ayyappa 88, Akshay Wadkar b Ayyappa 15, Parvez Rasool c Bharat b Unadkat 8, Abhimanyu Mithun lbw Wakhare 31, Shabhaz Nadeem c Raman b Wakhare 0, Rajneesh Gurabani b Kumar 2, Ishan Porel c Bharat b Kumar 0, Extras (b-2, nb-3, w-1) 6
  • Total (all out in 114.5 overs) 316.
  • Fall of wickets: 1-1, 2-117, 3-123, 4-256, 5-261, 6-270, 7-311, 8-311, 9-316 Bowling: Unadkat 16-6-63-2, Kulkarni 18-3-52-0, Ayyappa 20-5-48-2, Kumar 33.5-7-75-3, Wakhare 27-4-76-3
  • India Blue: Abhishek Raman lbw Gurbani 12, Faiz Fazal b Rasool 1, Dhruv Shorey batting 86, Anmolpreet Singh c Abhinav b Gurbani 1, Ricky Bhui c sub (Chatterjee) b Aparajith 41, K.S. Bharat b Rasool 35, Saurabh Kumar batting 0
  • Extras (lb-1, b-6) 7
  • Total (for five wickets in 63 overs) 183
  • Fall of wickets: 1-15, 2-17, 3-18, 4-130
  • Bowling: Rasool 24-2-63-2, Gurbani 8-3-12-2, Mithun 7-1-27-1, Nadeem 17-3-37-0, Porel 3-1-12-0, Aparajith 4-0-25-1.