Duleep Trophy: Bawne sizzles with century but India Red march ahead
Ankeet Bawane celebrates his century (Image courtesy: ranjith_july)

Maharashtra batsman Ankeet Bawane made a unbeaten 121 but could not prevent India Blue from conceding a 30-run lead to India Red on the third day of the Duleep Trophy match on Sunday. After bowling India Blue out for 255 in 83.2 overs, India Red (285 in 1st innings) extended the advantage by moving to 93 for 2 at stumps, securing a lead of 123 runs.

READ: Ankit Kalsi hits 106 off 345 before India Red make early inroads

India Red hit back after a wicketless first session with right-arm paceman Avesh Khan (4/58) and left-arm medium-pacer Jaydev Unadkat (3/52) and Vidarbha spinner Akshay Wakhare (3/32) helping the team pull it back. India Blue slipped from 193/3 to 208/8 as Avesh struck thrice and Wakhare got two wickets in a rather unexpected turnaround after a wicketless first session.

India Red’s attack was unable to make any impression on Bawne and Anmolpreet Singh, with the two batsmen playing confidently manner and driving well off the frontfoot. Their 129-run partnership for the fourth wicket kept alive Blue’s hopes of going past Red’s first innings total of 285.

However, the exit of Anmolpreet sent the innings into a tailspin as Avesh Khan and Wakhare ran through the middle-order even as Bawne stood firm. He did find a resolute partner in Aniket Chaudhary, who helped add 35 runs in a little over 14 overs. Bawne and Basil Thampi added 12 runs before Unadkat got the No. 11 out leg-before wicket.

In the second innings, India Red lost captain Priyank Panchal early with the Baroda opener getting bowled by Services medium-pacer Diwesh Gurdev Pathania for 9. Karun Nair, who missed out on a ton by one run in the first innings, joined AR Easwaran (18) and got things moving, with some fluent shots. After adding 47 runs for the second wicket, Easwaran fell to a catch off off-spinner Jalaj Saxena, who is looking increasingly dangerous.

Meanwhile, Nair and first-innings centurion Ankit Kalsi, were on the lookout for runs and played some attractive strokes. At stumps, Nair was batting on 43 while Kalsi was unbeaten on 21