Duleep Trophy: Fazal, Shorey take India Blue to 263/3

Skipper Faiz Fazal scored 76 and the in-form Dhruv Shorey remained unbeaten on 66, as India Blue finished day one on 263 for three against India Green.

Dhruv Shorey remained unbeaten on 66 at the opening day's play.   -  B. Jothi Ramalingam

Skipper Faiz Fazal (76, 141b, 8x4) and the in-form Dhruv Shorey batting at 66 (156b, 4x4, 2x6) did the star turn as India Blue finished on 263 for three against India Green on the opening day of the Duleep Trophy at the NPR College grounds here on Wednesday.

Both Fazal and Shorey were instrumental in stitching two hundred-run stand. The former with Smith Patel (51, 92b, 7x4, 1x6) for the opening wicket (worth 127 runs) and the latter with Ricky Bhui (batting 51, 86b, 3x4, 1x6) for the unbeaten fourth wicket (102).

Fazal and his team's intentions were clear - to put up a big total on the board. Being the opener, he took the onus on himself and managed to do it nicely from the start. He drove paceman K. Vignesh to the square leg fence off the day’s first ball and hit a few more in the next few overs.

The way he paced his innings in the first session, it was clear that there were no demons in the pitch. Fazal not only showed great patience and concentration but also played an array of shots during his innings. Moreover, he made the two-pronged pace attack, led by Tamil Nadu paceman Vignesh and Atit Sheth, look mediocre.

The Green skipper Parthiv Patel brought in his spinners and it did no good. Fazal reached his half-century by tucking one to mid-on for a quick single. Inspired by the skipper’s knock, Smith, who played second fiddle initially, grew in confidence and shifted gears as well.

He hoisted off-spinner Gurkeerat Mann over the long-on fence for his fifty off 80 balls, which was studded with seven boundaries.

But after putting up a solid stand, the openers fell in quick succession. Vignesh, in his third spell, had Fazal caught at second slip (Prashanth Chopra) to a ball that did a bit. Smith followed him five balls later trapped leg before by Sarvate. Ganesh Satish too fell early, but before further damage could be done, Shrove and Bhui steadied the innings.

The scores

India Blue – Ist innings: Faiz Fazal c Chopra b Vignesh 76, Smith K. Patel lbw Aditya Sarwate 51, Dhruv Shorey (batting) 66, Ganesh Satish c Bhatia b Mishra 14, Ricky Bhui (batting) 51; Extras (b-4, lb-1): 5;

Total (for three wickets in 90 overs): 263

Fall of wickets: 1-127, 2-127, 3-161

India Green bowling: Vignesh 17-4-34-1, Sheth 17-1-48-0, Mishra 19-2-60-1, Sarvate 18-3-45-1, Mann 13-0-53-0, Chopra 5-0-17-0, Priyank Panchal 1-0-1-0.