Karn Sharma claimed 2 wickets for India Red in the second innings (Image courtesy: Getty)
Karn Sharma claimed 2 wickets for India Red in the second innings (Image courtesy: Getty)

Priyank Panchal proves a point. It s your skill that takes you places. His dominance over the red ball was there to be seen when he guided Gujarat to a Ranji Trophy triumph earlier this year. He continues to dominate in the pink-ball arena. Twin tons from the Gujarat opener has placed India Red in the brink of a victory against India Green in the the first match of Duleep Trophy 2017, at Ekana International Stadium, Lucknow. Ironically, India Green is led by Panchal s Ranji captain Parthiv Patel. At stumps on Day 3, India Green are 98 for 2, still requiring 376 runs to notch up a win with Karun Nair and Ravikumar Samrath at the crease. FULL UPDATES

Day Three began with Panchal s dominance. He stood firm at the crease and capitalised on loose deliveries. Rahul Singh and he added 114 for the second wicket. Rahul fell to Murali Vijay s off-spin after a fluent fifty. Thereon, it was a Panchal and Dinesh Karthik show.

Karthik has been banging on the national doors for a while but as a wicketkeeper-batsman, you are competing against MS Dhoni (in limited-overs) and Wriddhiman Saha (in Tests). India Red skipper Karthik did what he has been doing season after season. He followed up his first innings fifty with an attacking 100 not out, adding an unbeaten 181-run stand with Panchal. India Red declared at 307 for 2, ensuring their bowlers have close to 4 sessions to dismantle the opponents.

While Panchal s 133 not out came off 213 balls, Karthik marched to his century off just 124 balls, in an innings that consisted 9 fours and 2 sixes.

The target of 474 looks daunting, even more when you were shot out for 157 on a second-day surface. Green were off to a positive start before losing 2 wickets in the ninth over to Karn Sharma. Murali Vijay, who picked up 5 wickets in the game, failed with the bat for the second time in the game. Karn Sharma removed the dangerous Vijay for 13 and, 2 balls later, saw the back of first-innings Green s top-scorer Prashant Chopra for 0.

Samarth and Nair repaired the innings, stitching an unbeaten 61 for the third wicket. India Green will have to score over 4 an over to win the match and on a crumbling surface, even saving the match will be tough. Even if they save it, they will lose points based on conceding a first-innings lead. Odds are heavily stacked against India Greens, and the think-tank will count on Nair and Parthiv to bail them out.

While Karn opened bowling for Red in the second innings, he was the only wicket-taker that took his tally to 6 for the match. Krishnappa Gowtham, who claimed a five-for in the first innings, has bowled 11 wicket-less overs so far.

The duo will have to bowl a lot more on the final day to help the Reds secure an outright win.

Brief Scores:

India Red 323 (Priyank Panchal 105, Sudip Chatterjee 52, Dinesh Karthik 50; Murali Vijay 3 for 46) & 307 for 2 (Priyank Panchal 133*, Rahul Singh 54, Dinesh Karthik 100*; Murali Vijay 2 for 26) lead India Green 157 (Prashant Chopra 65; Karn Sharma 4 for 39, Krishnappa Gowtham 5 for 46) & 98 for 2 (Ravikumar Samarth 46*; Karn Sharma 2 for 34) lead by 376 runs.