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On day 2 of the Duleep trophy, the atmosphere on the ground was quite relaxed; the match was going on like a typical first-class game. It was a joy for ardent cricket fans but was a pain for people who were out there in the stadium sitting on the grass in 31 degree Celsius. The match was moving ahead at snail’s pace, whilst all these was happening, the India Blue captain Gautam Gambhir was lying freely on a table enjoying each and every ball of the game. He was relishing every moment of the game as with each run scored, the chances of India Blue of winning the game was increasing manifolds. The India Blue team was playing according to the plan, score as much run as possible giving no chance to India Green to even come closer to the target.
The batsmen followed the instruction of the captain and every batsman spent as much time on the crease.
The day started with Pujara and Mithun coming to the crease. The early afternoon scenes were quite similar to day 1 as Jasprit Bumrah again dismissed a batsman off a no ball. Bumrah’s loss was Mithun’s gain; he went on to score 32 runs adding 68 runs for the fourth wicket with Pujara.
After his dismissal, the Tamil Nadu batsman Dinesh Karthik joined Pujara in the middle with a sole aim of spending as much time as possible. Both of them started the assault on India Green bowlers, as a result, the baffled India Green bowlers started bowling negative deliveries outside leg stump. Pragyan Ojha received a warning from the umpire for this act. The frustration was increasing with every passing delivery, while all this was happening, the Indian batsman Cheteshwar Pujara cruised to his 32nd first-class century in the 20th over of the day.
Both the batsmen teased the India Green bowlers before Karthik was dismissed on a score of 48. The game was not over yet as his succeeding batsman Sheldon Jackson went onto to score a century. He started his inning on a positive note taking 3 singles with two huge sixes that followed. After watching Jackson batting it looked like he has received shooting orders. He was firing at each and every bowler fetching as much runs as possible. Meanwhile, Pujara crossed the 150 run mark and was dismissed after scoring 166.
Not much was expected from lower order batsman but Jackson, Rasool and Karn Sharma went on to add 135 runs even after Pujara’s dismissal. Jackson scored 105 runs whereas Karn Sharma scored a half century. Rasool contributed 25 runs with the bat.
The India Blue team ended their marathon innings with a score of 707. The India Green has to chase 708 runs at any cost. It is the eventual target for them. They have 1080 balls to do so. A failure in achieving the aim and India Green will see themselves out of the tournament.
Even though cricket is known as the game of uncertainties but it is safe to assume that this is the end of the race for India Green and now only focus will be on how many runs can India Green score in reply to 707.