Yadav’s six helps India Red crush Green in ‘Pink’ match

26kuldeepIndia Red predictably completed the formalities polishing off the India Green lower order early on the fourth and final day to win the inaugural Day-Night Duleep Trophy encounter by a comprehensive 219-run margin, at the Greater Noida Sports Complex Ground, in Greater Noida, on Friday.

Resuming the day on 217 for seven, the Green team was bundled out for 277 in 56.2 overs with skipper Suresh Raina hitting a quickfire 90 in a losing cause in the four-day match played with a pink ball.

Chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav finished with career-best figures of six for 88 for combined match figures of nine for 120 showing his mastery in wrist spin in both the innings.

Raina’s sparkling 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 on the final day. 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 midwicket 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.

Pragyan Ojha was the final wicket to fall, as he was caught by Abhinav Mukund off Akshay Wakhare.

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 both innings.

Gautam Gambhir-led India Blue team will take on the India Red team in the second match, starting on Monday.

Brief Scores:

India Red: 161 & 486

India Green: 151 & 277 in 56.2 overs (Suresh Raina 90, Robin Uthappa 72, Kuldeep Yadav 6/88)

Result: India Red won by 217 runs.

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