Baba Indrajith scored 200 © PTI
Baba Indrajith scored 200 © PTI

After winning the first match of Duleep Trophy 2017 against India Green, India Red ended their second match with India Blue in a draw. After a batting collapse, India Red put up 383 on the board, thanks to Baba Indrajith’s 200. India Blue batsmen then acted as a unit to go past the target and take a 61-run lead in the first innings. India Red, in their next innings, registered 133 for 5 and thus ended the match in a yawning draw. READ: India Blue take 61 run lead against India Red at dinner, Day 4

After a 70-run opening stand, India Red’s batting slumped. Led by Ankit Rajpoot, India Blue bowlers ran through the India Red batting line-up, leaving them stuttering at 205 for 9. Baba Indrajith, who was unbeaten and saw most of his partners depart for paltry scores, then put up a record 10th-wicket partnership with Vijay Gohil, adding 178 runs to take the score to 383. It is the highest in Duleep Trophy history and the second-highest on Indian soil.

Indrajith played a brilliant knock of 200. Rajpoot registered best figures among his teammates with 3 for 56; Jaydev Unadkat and Manoj Tiwary bagged a couple of wickets each.

The entire India Blue batting lineup contributed to match Indrajith’s single-handed heroics. Innings’ first stable partnership was formed between Hanuma Vihari and skipper Suresh Raina.

Raina then departed after scoring his half-century, but Vihari anchored the innings and marches on. Most of Day Three was wasted due to rain and, on Day Four, Vihari completed his century with support from Deepak Hooda at the other end.

After Vihari’s departure, Hooda paired up with Jaydev Unadkat who completed his fifty but could not convert it to a hundred. Hooda did, and emerged as the highest run-getter for his side (133). Post Hooda’s wicket, the only mentionable contribution came from Bhargav Bhatt.

Karn Sharma’s 5 for 94 did not let India Blue’s tail add many runs, and restricted them at 444, with a lead of 61 runs. Basil Thampi and Vijay Gohil both got 2 wickets each.

Batting again, India Red lost their first wicket within 1.3 overs, without scoring a single run. Priyank Panchal and Rahul Singh brought in some stability before the latter departed. It was Rishabh Pant’s quickfire 23-ball 46 that helped India Red get the lead.

India Red had only one session in hand, already losing a couple of wickets; pressure mounted on them soon. Pant played fearlessly, hitting 7 fours and 2 sixes, scoring at a strike rate of 200 before getting run out. In an attempt to bowl them out, Raina used as many as nine bowlers but could only reduce them to 133 for 5 before the end of game. Unadkat, Rajpoot, Akshay Wakhare and Tiwary were the successful bowlers.

With 7 points, India Red now occupy the top spot after completion of both their group stage matches. India Blue follow them at No. 2 with 3 points from the drawn match. India Green have failed to secure a single point as of yet and will face India Blue in their next.

Brief scores:

India Red 383 (Priyank Panchal 36, Baba Indrajith 200; Ankit Rajpoot 3 for 56) and 133 for 5 (Rishabh Pant 46, Baba Indrajith 24*; Ankit Rajpoot 1 for 17) drew with India Blue 444 (Hanuma Vihari 105, Suresh Raina 52, Deepak Hooda 133, Jaydev Unadkat 57; Karn Sharma 5 for 94, Basil Thampi 2 for 97, Vijay Gohil 2 for 131).