Duleep Trophy: India Blue takes 470-run lead, set to enter final

If the first two days of the Duleep Trophy match were dominated by the India Blue batsmen as the team reached a monumental 707, Tuesday belonged to medium pacers A. Mithun and Pankaj Singh whose disciplined efforts restricted India Green to 237.

Pankaj Singh India Blue Duleep Trophy bowler 2016 pink ball test

India Blue bowler Pankaj Singh exults after taking the wicket of Robin Uthappa on Tuesday.   -  Sandeep Saxena

After ensuring a ticket to the final against India Red following a massive 470-run first innings lead, India Blue chose to bat again against India Green and turned the remainder of the Duleep Trophy league match into a farcical exercise on Tuesday.

>Scorecard

Having dominated every session so far of the match, Blue ended the third and penultimate day at 85 without loss for an overall lead of 555 runs.

If the first two days were dominated by the Blue batsmen as the team reached a monumental 707, Tuesday belonged to medium pacers A. Mithun and Pankaj Singh whose disciplined efforts restricted India Green to 237. Blue’s decision to give the second over to Karn Sharma clicked as the leg-spinner castled opener M. Vijay in the fourth over. He also packed off two tailenders after the medium pacers had done most of the damage.

Only Parthiv Patel and skipper Suresh Raina could score half centuries and lack of partnerships ensured that Green could not threaten to come even remotely close to Blue’s tally. Raina’s brisk knock ended when off-spinner Parvez Rasool beat his defensive bat and trapped him leg-before.

Raina could only come to bat after the fall of the fifth wicket since he did not take the field on Monday owing to a troubled heel. Pankaj was instrumental in sending back the well-set duo of Robin Uthappa and Patel while Mithun accounted for Jalaj Saxena and Karnataka-teammate Shreyas Gopal besides Ashok Dinda.

Unlike the Blue batsmen who displayed immense determination to stay in the middle, their counterparts from Green failed to deal with some inspired spell of bowling from the opposition. The pressure of facing Blue’s huge first innings tally also played its part and the result was a disastrous one for Green.