Shahbaz takes five, India Red qualifies for final

Set a target of 279 with two sessions to bat out, India Blue was struggling at 128 for eight with one hour (minimum of 15 overs) left in the day when play was called off.

Parvez Rasool struck for India Red removing Fazal bowled and then accounted for Abhishek Raman, leg before.   -  B. Jothi Ramalingam

Shahbaz Nadeem’s five-wicket haul nearly set India Red for an outright win over India Blue before both sides decided to call off play early on the final day of the second Duleep Trophy match at the NPR College ground on Sunday.

Set a target of 279 with two sessions to bat out, India Blue was struggling at 128 for eight with one hour (minimum of 15 overs) left in the day when play was called off.

India Red by virtue of its first innings lead has now qualified for the final with six points from its two matches.

Blue started off on a good note with skipper Faiz Fazal and Dhruv Shorey putting together a 76-run opening wicket stand.

First Parvez Rasool struck for India Red removing Fazal bowled and then accounted for Abhishek Raman, leg before.

Nadeem then picked his first wicket of the match at the stroke of the last break, removing Ricky Bhui leg-before, triggering a collapse that saw Blue losing eight wickets for 24 runs.

In the second over after the break, Nadeem struck twice, first removing Anmolpreet Singh leg before and then Shorey who was looking in fine touch on 45, caught at short-mid wicket.

Nadeem once again struck twice in the same over, removing Saurabh Kumar and Jaydev Unadkat to complete his fifer.

Earlier, resuming at 156 for three, Siddhesh Lad and Akshay Wadkar saw through the first ten overs adding 32 runs before Wadkar was dismissed.

Lad, who got his second fifty of the match, soon followed as India Red slumped from 198 for three to 209 for nine.

Spinners Wakhare and Kumar finished with four wickets each with the duo taking the first six wickets on the last day, giving India Blue a small hope for an outright result.

However, Abhimanyu Mithun ensured Red got a healthy lead. He attacked the spinners in his run-a-ball unbeaten 47 that included six fours and two sixes.

Speaking after the match, Nadeem said, "since we had taken the first innings lead and qualified for the final, we felt there wasn't much point in carrying on."

Scorecard

India Red (1st innings) 316; India Blue (1st innings) 293

India Red: (2nd innings) Sanjay Ramaswamy lbw Kumar 6, Abhinav Mukund lbw Bhui 50, B. Aparajith c Fazal b Wakhare 19, Siddhesh Lad b Kumar 68, Akshay Wadkar c Raman b Wakhare 47, Ashutosh Singh st Bharat b Wakhare 0, Parvez Rasool st Bharat b Kumar 2, Abhimanyu Mithun not out 47, Shahbaz Nadeem c Unadkat b Wakhare 1, Rajneesh Gurbani c Bharat b Kumar 1, Ishan Porel b Unadkat 4

Extras: (b-7, lb-1, nb-2) 10; Total (all out in 84.3 overs) 255; Fall of wickets: 1-21, 2-66, 3-81, 4-198, 5-198, 6-200, 7-200, 8-202, 9-209.

Bowling: Unadkat 4.3-0-19-1, Wakhare 32-4-110-4, Kumar 34-8-79-4, Bhui 4-0-17-1, Kulkarni 5-0-16-0, Ayyappa 3-1-3-0, Anmolpreet 2-0-3-0.

India Blue (2nd innings): Faiz Fazal b Rasool 39, Dhruv Shorey c Abhinav b Nadeem 45, Abhishek Raman lbw Rasool 9, Ricky Bhui lbw Nadeem 1, Anmolpreet Singh lbw Nadeem 3, K.S. Bharat c&b Nadeem 4, Saurabh Kumar c Ashutosh Singh b Nadeem 3, Jaydev Unadkat c Mithun b Nadeem 1, Dhawal Kulkarni (not out) 4, B. Ayyappa (not out) 15

Extras: (b-4) 4; Total (for eight wickets in 47 overs) 128; Fall of wickets: 1-76, 2-92, 3-95, 4-101, 5-102, 6-106, 7-108, 8-110.

Bowling: Rasool 20-4-59-3, Nadeem 23-3-53-5, Gurbani 4-0-12-0.