India Blue in Duleep Trophy final after a day of batting practice

India Blue resumed its second innings at 85 without loss and ended at 298 in just 66.2 overs. Trailing by 768 runs, Green ended at 179 for four when the play was called off with 13 mandatory overs remaining.

With the final day’s proceedings reduced to serving academic interest, Sheldon Jackson and Dinesh Karthik used the opportunity against India Green to get some useful batting practice ahead of the Duleep Trophy final starting here on September 10.

Once India Blue’s passage to the title-clash against India Red cleared following its 470-run first innings lead on Tuesday, Wednesday’s formalities leading to a draw held very little interest.

For the record, Blue resumed its second innings at 85 without loss and ended at 298 in just 66.2 overs. Trailing by 768 runs, Green ended at 179 for four when the play was called off with 13 mandatory overs remaining.

Skipper Suresh Raina stayed away from the day’s action but his teammates M. Vijay and Robin Uthappa helped themselves to half centuries.

Earlier, Blue’s openers overnight not-outs Gautam Gambhir and Mayank Agarwal collected half-centuries but could not go too far before playing on, in quick succession, to deliveries from Jalaj Saxena.

Jackson, the first-innings centurion, scored an entertaining unbeaten 77-ball 79 after Karthik had scored a 45-ball 57.

Even as Blue batsmen scored at a brisk rate, wickets fell at regular intervals. The biggest gainer was leg-spinner Shreyas Gopal who added four more in the innings to finish with nine wickets in the match.

> Pragyan Ojha, who took three wickets, had to be wheeled out of the field on a stretcher following a blow on the back of his head. While fielding at mid-on, Ojha was preparing to stop a drive from Pankaj Singh, when the ball bounced unexpectedly.

Involuntarily, Ojha took his eyes off the ball and turned his head to the right. As a result, the ball struck the back of his head on the left. An unconscious Ojha was rushed to a nearby hospital in a well-equipped ambulance – thanks to an alert Match Referee Amit Sharma – and a scan was taken. Ojha was back in the dressing room before the match was called off.