Saurabh, Unadkat shine as India Blue gain first innings lead

Having gained a crucial  first innings lead, India Blue, in its second essay, was 21 for no loss when persistent showers stopped further play for the day.

India Blue bowler Saurabh Kumar celebrates after snaring Parthiv Patel.   -  B. Jothi Ramalingam

It takes lot of patience and tenacity to fight it out in a tough situation. The India Green men, barring its skipper Parthiv Patel (80, 109b, 8x4), failed to show any and fell apart in quick time to India Blue on the penultimate day of their Duleep Trophy clash at the NPR College grounds here on Friday.

Left-arm spinner Saurabh Kumar (five for 98) and India paceman Jaydev Unadkat (four for 16) were wrecker-in-chiefs for the Blue. The former spun a sticky web and, the latter wrapped it up with a twin strike in one over to tilt the scales in the team’s favour.

Going into the day, the Green required another 190 runs for the crucial first innings lead. It had only six men to do the job. Not an easy task on a track that had started to aid the spinners.

The overnight pair of Parthiv and Gurkeerat Mann could have planned the chase well, but they chose to step out to Saurabh to make some quick runs. But the UP spinner had other ideas. He mixed up his deliveries quite wisely and most of them fell into it.

Mann was the first to go caught by skipper Faiz Fazal at covers and Harpreet Singh Bhatia followed suit.

Sarvate joined his skipper and stitched a brief partnership (40 runs) for the seventh wicket but Saurabh struck again by trapping the latter plumb in front. Unadkat came in and cleaned up the rest in the only over that he bowled for the day.

Having gained a crucial  first innings lead, Blue, in its second essay, was 21 for no loss when persistent showers stopped further play for the day.

The scores

India Blue – Ist innings: 340.

India Green - Ist innings: 257: Prashant Chopra c Unadkat b Kumar 80, Priyank Panchal c & b Unadkat 0, Sudip Chatterjee c Kumar b Unadkat 0, B, Indrajith st. Smit Patel b Kumar 35, Parthiv Patel lbw Saurabh 80, Gurkeerat Mann c Fazal b Saurabh 20; Harpreet Singh Bhatia c Gangta b Saurabh 3, Aditya Sarvate c Gangta b Swapnil 11, Atit Sheth (not out) 16, K. Vignesh c Gangta b Unadkat 6, Vignesh Mishra lbw Unadkat 0;

Extras (b-6): 6; Total (in 88.5 overs) 257.

Fall of wickets: 1-3,  2-9, 3-98, 4-136, 5-175, 6-179, 7-219, 8-231, 9-257

India Blue bowling: Unadkat 10.5-3-16-4, Thampi 11-3-19-0,  Wakhare 11-1-40-0, Swapnil 23-2-58-1, Saurabh 27-7-98-5, Bhui 3-0-13-0, Shorey 3-0-7-0,

India Blue - 2nd innings: Faiz Fazal (batting) 9, Smit Patel (batting) 11; Extras (lb-1); Total (for no loss in 6.4 overs) 21.

India Green bowling: Vignesh 3.4-1-9-0, Sarvate 3-0-11-0.