Spinner finally came to party in the on-going match of Duleep Trophy. There were always an air of uncertainty surrounding the pink ball and one can say that after the first three days the cricketers and pundits will find it tough to predict the nature of the ball. While the first two days belonged to the pacers and batsmen, the third day was completely dominated by the spinners. With 277 runs and 17 wickets, it was the bowlers who dominated on Day 1. The second day entirely belonged to the batsmen as almost 400 runs were scored for the loss of just six wickets. However, on the third day, 14 wickets fell, out of which nine were scalped by the spinners.
Coming to the match, India Red spinner Kuldeep Yadav’s maiden fifer reduced India Green to 217 for 7, still 280 runs adrift of the target, after India Red had scored a mammoth 486 in their second innings.
Chasing the huge target of 497, India Green raced to 122 with the loss of only one wicket. Robin Uthappa, who was batting on 72 off just 65 deliveries, was looking in very good touch but then he failed to read Yadav’s flighted delivery and edged the ball to Yuvraj Singh in the first sleep. Two balls later Yadav struck once again and dismissed Rajat Paliwal for a duck. Things became worse for the batting team when 9 runs later they lost experienced batsman Parthiv Patel for 21 with Yadav again the wicket-taker. India Green’s captain Suresh Raina and Saurabh Tiwary then added 54 runs for the fifth wicket to steady the ship and just when it was looking that the two had a grip on the proceedings, Yuvraj brought back his most impressive bowler-Yadav and he did not disappoint as he dismissed Tiwary, who had misjudged the length to get trapped lbw for 31. And in the next over the chinaman spinner cleaned up Sandeep Sharma to claim his first five-wicket haul in first-class cricket. By the end of proceedings on Day 3, India Red needed three more wickets to register a comprehensive win while India Green needed 280 runs more to register an improbable win.