Duleep Trophy: Pujara, Jackson pile on the runs

Cheteshwar Pujara and Sheldon Jackson scored centuries against a hapless India Green and took the team's tally to 707 on the second day of the Duleep Trophy league match against India Green here on Monday.

Cheteshwar Pujara Duleep Trophy India Blue domestic cricket 2016

Cheteshwar Pujara, overnight on 63, scored 166 for his 32nd first class century.   -  Sandeep Saxena

It was yesterday once more for an irrepressible India Blue.

If it was Mayank Agarwal and Gautam Gambhir on Sunday, their good work was taken forward by Cheteshwar Pujara and Sheldon Jackson on Monday. The duo scored centuries against a hapless India Green and took the team's tally to 707 on the second day of the Duleep Trophy league match here on Monday.

At present, it appears that Blue has already batted Green out of the contest and booked a place in the final against India Red. Green will begin its chase for the vital first innings lead on Tuesday.

Resuming the day at 336 for three, Blue continued to hurt Green with some resolute display in batting-friendly conditions at the Shaheed Vijay Singh Pathik Sports Complex here.

Partnerships kept coming as Pujara and Sheldon took turns to inspire confidence in the incoming batsmen. As a result, almost every batsman, barring the two tailenders, contributed to the growing tally.

In fact, the total of 707 was the ninth highest total in the competition since its inception in 1961.

Pujara, overnight on 63, scored 166 for his 32nd first class century. Jackson started aggressively and reached his century in the final session. In keeping with the run of play, Karn Sharma helped himself to a half century.

However, Dinesh Karthik was not so lucky and fell for 48. Among the bowlers, leg-spinner Shreyas Gopal scalped five wickets wickets that included a favourable leg-before decision against Karn Sharma after Pujara played on.

Pujara played true to his proven temperament and converted his century into a big one. On the way, he shared a 108-run stand with Dinesh Karthik, who was unlucky to miss a well-deserved half-century.

Jackson held the centre-stage after the fall of Pujara and gave no respite to the India Green bowler.

He announced his arrival with two sixes in an over off Pragyan Ojha and continued to torment the bowlers. Batting without pressure, the right-hander was quick to punish the loose deliveries and cleared the infield almost at will. Lucky to be dropped on 74 when M. Vijay spilled a slip-catch off Jasprit Bumrah, Jackson continued to look for big hits and executed them with confidence.

After Parveez Rasool looked good as long as he lasted for his 25, Jackson and Karn raised another 108 runs for the eighth wicket. Karn stepped up the scoring rate and with runs coming from both ends, Blue piled on the agony on the opposition.

After Karn’s departure, unlucky to adjudged leg-before, Jackson reached his 10th first-class century of just 105 deliveries, dotted with seven boundaries and five sixes and was the last man out.