Duleep Trophy: Rain plays spoilsport

Rain came to the rescue of the players and exposed the inadequacies of Indian cricket on the third day of the Duleep Trophy cricket match between Red and Blue at the Green Park Stadium here on Friday.

India Blue opener Hanuma Vihari deals with a bouncer during his unbeaten 88 against India Red.   -  Kamesh Srinivasan

Rain came to the rescue of the players and exposed the inadequacies of Indian cricket on the third day of the Duleep Trophy cricket match between Red and Blue at the Green Park Stadium here on Friday.

In a season in which the Duleep trophy tournament itself had sprung to life, all of a sudden, forcing the players to swing into battle readiness, a forced day of rest was welcome.

Only 20 minutes of play was possible, when heavy rain lashed the ground, as India Blue added 16 runs to move to 232 for three, chasing
a first innings target of 384.

Even though the ground staff did a splendid job as soon as the rain stopped, in drying up the ground, wet patches forced the umpires, who
made repeated inspection, to finally call of play at 7.15 p.m.

Play had stopped a few minutes before 2 p.m. for rain, which stopped within a few minutes. The ground staff literally worked for about five hours, but so many acres of land in a cricket ground, leave a few patches that may not respond to ‘’quick fix’’ of saw dust etc.

The faithful fans stayed at the ground for many hours, hoping for play, and entertained themselves with the odd cricketer who walked to
their stand to take a selfie!

Opener Hanuma Vihari, unbeaten on 86 overnight, added two more runs in the short period of play, while Deepak Hooda reached 37.

With the possibility of the pitch behaving a bit different after the rain, and the enhanced moisture, it should be lively on Saturday, the last day of the second league match. However, there is forecast of thunderstorm which may further affect the match.

India Red had beaten India Green in the opening match in Lucknow, and thus could fancy its chances of making the final, in the three-team
competition.

Scores: India Red: 1st innings: 383 all out.

India Blue: 1st innings: 232 for three wickets in 65.4 overs.