Thursday, October 28, 2021

India Blue clinch Duleep Trophy in style

Greater Noida, Sep 14 (IANS) India Blue stuck to the script to register an emphatic 355-run victory over India Red to win the Duleep Trophy cricket tournament at the Greater Noida Sports Complex Ground here on Wednesday.

India all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja repeated his first innings five-wicket haul as Gautam Gambhir’s wards broke little sweat to brush aside their rivals on the last day, dismissing them for a mere 161 runs in the second innings after being set a 517-run target.

India Red folded up for a meagre 161 with India opener Shikhar Dhawan getting to 29 runs which remained their top score.

This will be good news to India coach Anil Kumble as both Jadeja and Cheteshwar Pujara — who authored a brilliant unbeaten double century in the first innings — look in fine fettle.

Resuming play at 139/3 on Wednesday, with Jadeja and Rohit Sharma at the crease, India Blue lost composure early as Jadeja was run out needlessly. Soon after, Sheldon Jackson departed without troubling the scorers too much. The two wickets that India Blue lost on the fifth day both resulted from batsmen’s error rather than good bowling.

For the Reds, chinaman Kuldeep Yadav continued his good work with the ball resuming from where he had left off the previous night. He beat Rohit with his first ball to the batsman, a googly that pitched on off and spun sharply away.

But the early loss of wickets did not affect India Blue at all as they were already sitting on a mammoth overnight lead of 476. Gambhir declared their second innings at 179/5, a lead of 516. By tea, India Blue took the wickets of Sudip Chatterjee and Shikhar Dhawan.

Red’s problems were compounded with Abhinav Mukund retiring hurt after being hit by a nasty delivery from Pankaj Singh, who was at his lethal best in the first spell. Though wicketless, the Rajasthan captain troubled the top order consistently.

The wickets fell to the spinners, with Chatterjee top-edging an attempted slog-sweep off Ravindra Jadeja and Dhawan finally succumbing to off-spinner Parvez Rasool’s probing line when he nicked one to first slip where Gautam Gambhir took an excellent catch.

Brief scores: India Blue 693/6 declared (Cheteshwar Pujara 256 not out, Sheldon Jackson 134; Amit Mishra 2-171) and 179/5 declared (Mayank Agarwal 52; Kuldeep Yadav 3/62) beat India Red 356 (Stuart Binny 98, Mishra 65; Ravindra Jadeja 5-95) and 161 (Ravindra Jadeja 5/76) by 355 runs.


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