Duleep Trophy final UPDATES: India Red vs India Blue - Day 2

Periodic updates from Day Two of the Duleep Trophy final between India Red and India Blue, played in Dindigul.

Ricky Bhui and Anmolpreet Singh dug in deep to pull India Blue out of trouble and finished the second session in control.   -  B. Jothi Ramalingam

Good afternoon, welcome to Sportstar's live blog of the 2nd day of the Duleep Trophy final between defending champion India Red and India Blue.

It ends a relatively one-sided day in Dindigul; a day of graft by India Blue's batsmen and of hard slog by India red's bowlers, especially the spinners Mihir Hirwani and Parvez Rasool.

Gangta scored his sixth first-class century, shepherding the tail to take his side to 541. Others in the line-up contributed as well - Anmolpreet Singh fell four short of a century, Ricky Bhui scored 60 and Swapnil Singh scored 69. Lower-order batsmen Saurabh Kumar and Jaydev Unadkat also chipped in.

Rasool ended up the highest wicket-taker in the innings, but after having bowled 53.3 overs and giving away 150 runs. Hirwani, who took three, was even more expensive - 190 runs off 57 overs.

Can India Red's batsmen take a cue from their opponents and make hay on Thursday? Until Day Three of this Duleep Trophy final, it's goodbye.

8:38 pm: With four close-in fielders, left-arm spinner Saurabh Kumar is given the responsibility to bowl the final over of the day. A singles comes from the over; After a dot ball played by Sandeep, a single is taken and Sanjay decides to block all the remaining deliveries. It ends 10 overs in India Red's first innings; the one wicket lost would give India Blue the upper hand, especially after piling up what looks now as a mammoth total.

8:31 pm: After eight overs of fast bowling, Deepak Hooda is introduced with the relatively new ball to bowl his off-spinners. He is safely negotiated by the batsmen. One over to go before stumps.

8:22 pm: Sanjay Ramaswamy plays two delightful back-to-back cover drives off Unadkat. The second sequence of delivery and stroke-maklng seemed to be a carbon copy of the first. Sanjay has two boundaries in the innings so far.

8.10 pm: Abhinav Mukund is bowled neck and crop off an inducker by Dhawal Kulkarni. The delivery cuts him into half and makes a mess of the furniture. In what has been a slow start so far, an early wickets adds pressure on to the batting side. India Red 8 for 1.

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7.41 pm: Krishna contributes to ending the nagging India Blue innings, but as a fielder. Unadkat plays a slog sweep off Rasool; the sweet cracking sound of the ball hitting the bat was misleading as the ball couldn't evade Krishna standing at the deep midwicket boundary. India Blue all out for 541.

7.35 pm: It's time for drinks; India Red's spinners Hirwani and Rasool must be welcoming the break, after having bowled over 100 overs in the innings together. Prasidh Krishna took the new in the last over before the break; apart from an attempted pull shot - the ball safely went through to the keeper - by Unadkat, the over is uneventful.

7.23 pm: But against the run of play, the assured Gangta, at the other end, casually chips Rasool's delivery - on the legs towards middle and leg - to Abhinav Mukund at mid-on. Rasool has his third wicket as Gangta departs for 130 (241b, 7X4, 6X6). India Blue 523 for 9.

7.20 pm: Jaydev Unadkat, the new man, decides not to hang around doing nothing. After defending a couple of deliveries, he uses his enormous reach to deposit a delivery from outside off outside the long-on boundary. The bowler, not liking the treatment, chats with the batsman, who responds with back-to-back boundaries - a pull and a sweep.

7.12 pm: Finally, Saurabh departs! After surviving a leg-before-wicket shout off Hirwani, the bowler gets him to inside-edge a full delivery; Sanjay Ramaswamy at short leg safely pouches it. India Blue 508 for 8; Saurabh 36 (67b, 4X4, 1X6).

7.09 pm: Saurabh is leading a charmed life. Parvez induces an edge, which travels to Siddhesh Lad at slip, who spills it. The ball ricocheted off Lad's chest and away from his grasp. Lad apologises by raising his left hand to the bowler.

7.05 pm: Hirwani, bowling his 54th over, tries to surprise Saurabh by inserting a faster one among his regular, flighted deliveries. The batsman safely plays a late cut, guiding the ball from the middle stump. Hirwani can only smile in response.

7.01 pm: Another miscue from the cavalier Saurabh, who attempts a heave off a delivery outside off. He gets an edge, and the ball safely goes over the top of the wicketkeeper's head. Ishan Kishan chases the ball and Saurabh has two more runs.

6.58 pm: It's 500 up for India Blue, for the loss of seven wickets. Gangta, batting on 126, looks assured at the crease.

6.54 pm: A six and almost a wicket for the patient Parvez Rasool. To make the most of a floated delivery outside off, Gangta comes down the track and executes a clean strike for six over long on. Just two deliveries later, Rasool pulls off what appeared a ripper; Saurabh ungainly attempts to block a delivery outside off, the ball jumps and turns, missing his outside edge narrowly.

6.46 pm: Due to a lacklustre effort in the deep by Ishan Porel, Saurabh survives. It was a top-edge off a misjudged sweep. Ishan came running in from fine leg, had the ball landing on his palms, but spilled it.

6.39 pm: Spinners from both ends - Mihir Hirwani and Parvez Rasool. Batsmen are relaxed in the middle; No. 9 Saurabh Kumar collects a boundary through long leg with a loose sweep.

6.00 pm: India Blue must be pleased going into dinner, despite having lost its seventh wicket. Nikhil Gangta broke the jinx to be the first batsman to score a century in a line-up filled with starts. It has seemingly been a one-sided contest so far; will the post-dinner session bring about a change in fortunes? Stay tuned.

5.35pm: WICKET! The 153-run stand is finally broken by Mihir Hirwani. Swapnil gets a leading edge and Sandeep at covers does the rest. Swapnil departs for a well made 69 (116 balls, 9x4, 3x6). India Blue 437/7.

4:49pm: Swapnil Singh reaches 50*! Swapnil has anchored the innings for India Blue with Nikhil Gangta who is on 89*. This partnership is worth 127 runs now.

4:36pm: Looks like Ishan Kishan has taken all his frustration on the stumps. Fielding for more than a day, in these hot and humid conditions, can take a toll on temperament. He has dislodged all three stumps in a stumping attempt. It was not even a half chance and the umpires don’t bother going upstairs.

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Ishan Kishan dislodges all three stumps in a bizzare stumping attempt.   -  B. Jothi Ramalingam

 

4:20pm: The second session is underway and India Blue has picked up the scoring. Both Nikhil Gangta and Swapnil Singh have accelerated in the second session. Inching towards the 400-run mark, the duo have found the boundaries with ease and aerial shots are becoming common. Are they waiting for 400 before they declare?

First session: India Blue, now on 359/6 in 120 overs, has added 99 runs in 30 overs, losing the important wicket of Ricky Bhui. Nikhil Gangta (61 off 113 balls) and Swapnil Singh (26 in 55 balls) have added 75 runs so far for the seventh wicket.

The batsmen seem to be at ease, they are able to use their feet to the spinners and the quicker bowlers haven't been effective either. We have seen some big hits in the session, the batsmen coming down to the pitch of the ball with ease and carting them over.

The second session now depends on how well the bowlers get to basics, else they will be staring at a gigantic and an astronomical score. The pitch too, although with rough patches, hasn't come to dictating play.

3.30pm: Tea break: India Blue is 359/6 in 119.6 overs. (N R Gangta 61 off 113, Swapnil K Singh 26 off 55)

3.21pm: A half-century for Nikhil Gangta. He comes down the track to Sandeep, gets to the pitch of the ball and carts him over long on to reach the landmark. Easy pickings for India Blue now.

 

3.18pm: Nikhil Gangta and Swapnil Singh bring up their 50-run partnership for the 6th wicket.

3.11pm: India Blue has set its sights on a huge total. The India Red bowlers must come up with something extraordinary, else they'll be chasing a humongous score.

2:57pm: Just 30 overs with the second pink ball and it is replaced. A lot of work to be done by Kookabura if the pink ball needs to stay!

2:45pm: India Blue is taking its time here on Day 2. Scoring at just over 2 runs an over, Blue is making its intent clear in asking India Red to work hard for its wickets.

2:35pm: One hour of intriguing play. India Blue has added 31 runs and lost one wicket, an important one of Ricky Bhui, in 15 overs. The bowlers are on the money and so are the batsmen. This is just getting more interesting.

2.12 pm: After 100 overs, India Blue is 285/6. N R Gangta 19 (45) and Swapnil K Singh 0 (3) at the crease.

2.04pm: WICKET! The change of bowling does the trick. Ricky Bhui goes for a wild pull and plays on to leave the timber rattled. India Red gets an important breakthrough. Bhui departs for 60 (160 balls, 6x4). What a start for Ishan Porel! The 20-year-old, celebrating his birthday today, picks up a wicket in his first over of the day.

 

1.52pm: It's another hot and humid day at Natham and it is going to be a long day for the bowlers.

1.45pm: There are some rough patches created by the bowlers on the wicket, but that should help the spinners. India Red would hope that Hirwani, Rasool and Sandeep can make the ball do the talking and hope it comes out to bat sooner than expected.

1.35pm: Prasidh Krishna and Parvez Rasool open the proceedings for India Red. Nikhil Gangta slams Rasool to the fence to start proceedings for Blue.

1:09 pm: The teams are engaging in a game of football and some bowling drills before the start of play.

 

 

At the end of the first day's play, Ricky Bhui (53*, 136 b, 5x4) and Anmolpreet Singh (96, 147b, 14x4, 1x6) added 144 runs in 270 balls to power India Blue to a respectable finish at 260 for five.

Here's how Hari Kishore described the yesterday's proceedings from Natham, Dindigul.

The pink ball failed to make a mark yet again as the ball lost its shape before the end of the 70th over. Both teams' skippers, Abhinav Mukund and Faiz Fazal, had their say on the issues with the ball.