India ‘Red’ predictably completed the formalities polishing off the India ‘Green’ tail within half-an hour to win the inaugural Day/Night Duleep Trophy encounter by a comprehensive 219-run margin in Greater Noida on Friday.
Starting the day at 217 for 7, the Green brigade were all out for 277 in 56.2 overs with skipper Suresh Raina hitting a quickfire 90 in a losing cause.
Chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav finished with career-best figures of 6/88 and match figures of 9/120 showing his mastery in wrist spin in both the innings.
Raina’s innings off 101 balls was laced with 11 boundaries and three sixes but it was more of an act of defiance trying to delay the inevitable as a victory target of 497 was already out of bounds after the third day’s play.
The match lasted exactly 10.2 overs in the final afternoon. First it was Ashok Dinda, who tried an ugly pull shot off a Nathu Singh bouncer to be caught at mid-on.
With defeat looming large, Raina upped the ante as he hit a six over mid-wicket and a flurry of boundaries off Anureet Singh and Kuldeep as he inched towards his century.
Raina reached the 90s by dancing down the track and lofting Kuldeep over long-off but was out off the very next delivery trying to clear mid-off.
The match was over the moment Pragyan Ojha was taken by Abhinav Mukund off Akshay Wakhare’s bowling.
The Red team got six points for an outright win and look good to reach the final of the tournament. Opener Abhinav Mukund was awarded Man of the match for scores of 77 and 169 in the two innings of the match innings.
The next match starts from Monday wherein Gautam Gambhir’s Blue team will take on the Red brigade.
Brief Scores: India Red 161 & 486 India Green 151 & (target 497) 277 in 56.2 overs (Suresh Raina 90, Robin Uthappa 72, Kuldeep Yadav 6/88) India Red won by 219 runs.
Points: India Red 6; India Green 0.