Duleep Trophy: Karun Nair shines as India Red takes honours on day one

Karun Nair looked set to record a century, until rain spoiled his plans.

The Karnataka batsman took India Red to 163 for two, before rain forced play to be called off in the evening session. (File Picture)   -  sudhakara jain

Karun Nair (92 batting, 189b, 9x4) came good for India Red on the first day of its Duleep Trophy fixture against India Blue, at Alur (1) ground here on Friday.

The Karnataka batsman took India Red to 163 for two, before rain forced play to be called off in the evening session. Elegant southpaw Ankit Kalsi (48 batting, 171b, 4x4) – solid and compact in defence - kept Karun company.

As it happened| Duleep Trophy 2019: Karun Nair 92 steers India Red to 163/2 at stumps

Karun was in his element - paddle sweeping the spinners, and crisply driving and flicking the pacers. He brought up his fifty with a lovely lofted drive over mid-on, off left-arm spinner Saurabh Kumar. He looked set to record a century, until rain spoiled his plans.

Himachal Pradesh batsman Kalsi, meanwhile, was happy to stick around and play a long knock. He did receive a reprieve on 34, when Ricky Bhui put down a sitter at slip. The bowler, off-spinner Jalaj Saxena, yelled in frustration. In general, the India Blue fielding was lethargic and sorely lacking energy.

Earlier, left-arm fast bowler Aniket Choudhary took out Abhimanyu Easwaran for a duck, leg-before in the third ball of the match. Skipper Priyank Panchal was next to go for 15, nicking one from speedster Diwesh Pathania to the wicketkeeper Snell Patel.

Karun and Kalsi then came together to put on an undefeated 120-run stand for the third wicket.

The score:

India Red 163 for two in 68 overs (Karun Nair 92 batting, Ankit Kalsi 48 batting) vs India Blue.