India Blue on Wednesday stacked up a massive 541-run first innings score and put India Red on the back foot after dismissing the Red’s skipper Abhinav Mukund at stumps on the second Day of the Duleep Trophy final which is being played at the NPR College Ground Dindigul, Tamil Nadu.
Himachal Pradesh’s 26-year-old batsman Nikhil Gangta smashed a scintillating 241-ball 130 to put India Blue in the driver’s seat. Ganga hit six sixes and seven fours in his innings.
Earlier, resuming at their overnight score of 260/5, Ricky Bhui and Gangta added 33 runs before Bhui, at 60, was cleaned up by 20-year-old Ishan Porel, reducing India Blue to 284/6. Gangta then stitched a stunning 153-run seventh wicket stand with bowling all-rounder Swapnil Singh, who hit 69 off 117 balls. Gangta added another 70-run partnership for the eight wicket with Saurabh Kumar (36).
India Red spinners, Parveez Rasool and Mihir Hirwani wrapped the India Blue innings at 541 runs. Rasool and leg-break bowler Hirwani finished the innings with figures of 4 for 150 and 3/190 respectively.
To rub salt to the wounds of the India Red side, pacer Dhawal Kulkarni clean-bowled Abhinav Mukund (7) in the third over to reduce India Red to 8/1. Opener Sanjay Ramaswamy (9*) and Hyderabad batsman Bavanaka Sandeep (11*) survived nervy seven overs as India Red went 27/1 at the end of second Day’s play.
India Red trail by 514 runs
India Red 1st innings: 27/1
India Blue 1st innings: 541/10 (Nikhil Gangta 130, Anmolpreet Singh 96, Swapnil Singh 69 / Parvez Rasool 4 for 150, Mihir Hirwani 3 for 190)