Duleep Trophy 2016: India Red kicks off pink ball campaign with a win; Raina misses out on a century!
Nothing much was left in last day’s play except if Suresh Raina would go on to score a hundred as the small crowd at the stadium was anxiously waiting to see local boy scoring a century but that didn’t happen as he was caught by Nathu Singh who didn’t let go ball go past him at mid-off. Soon after his dismissal, Pragyan Ojha the last batsman followed him in the very next over as India Green folded their 2nd innings for 277 runs. The India Green team chasing a target of 497 runs, lost the first India’s domestic Pink ball match by a huge margin of 219 runs.
It took just 45 minutes for India Red to pack the bags of India Green. India Green added a total of 60 runs to their overnight total out of which 48 were scored alone by Suresh Raina who jumped from a score of 42 to 90 in very quick time. Soon as he reached 90, he made a small mistake which deprived him of a chance of scoring his first century in Duleep trophy.
There was not much task for the bowlers today as most of the damage was done yesterday itself when Kuldeep Yadav ran over the India green batting line-up picking up 5 of the 7 wickets they lost yesterday.
The India Green batsmen were never on the right track as while chasing huge target the batsmen has to spend hours on the crease and have to score runs but that was not the case with India green batsmen. It was evident from the fact that the India green openers were imitating the India are batsmen and started aggressively but couldn’t continue their aggression for long.
India Red bowlers loomed the web yesterday and formulated their plan successfully. They sealed the match yesterday itself and today play was just a formality. Nathu Singh, Sudip Chatterjee, Kuldeep Yadav and Abhinav Mukund were star performers for them in the match.
Abhinav Mukund who scored a total 246 runs in the match was awarded the man of the match award. His first innings was better than the second one as he was the lone batsman on Day 1 who could stay there at the crease, rest all were the just guest of few minutes on the crease. Mukund credited hard work and good homework for his success and said
“I was getting into good positions. I’ve been training well back home, especially batting under lights. That experience helped me here. I think a lot of people had issues sighting the ball, but I didn’t have any issues with visibility. The wicket was damp, that’s perhaps why so many wickets fell on the first day. I worked hard during the offseason. I got leaner and stronger. I worked on my batting as well. I want to carry it through. Hopefully, this season marks a turnaround for me”.
India Red earned 6 points from this contest. Their captain Yuvraj Singh, who failed with the bat in both the innings, had all praises for his players at the presentation party “Nathu bowled a superb spell to bring us back. Abhinav and Chatterjee’s partnership gave us control. I thought the way the ball was moving, 161 in the first innings was a decent score. We wanted to restrict them to below 200. I thought the pink ball moved a bit more than the SG ball. It was pretty exciting, the pink ball doesn’t go old. It was coming onto the bat nicely” said an elated Yuvraj Singh
This contest also cleared our doubts regarding the pink ball assisting fast bowlers more than the spinners as fast bowlers scalped 19 wickets whereas spinners grabbed 21 wickets, two more than the pacers. Well, the nature and secret of the pink ball ha still a long way to go which will be unveiled in more matches to come.
The India Red will now face Gautam Gambhir led India blue squad from August 29 at the same venue.
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