India Red qualified for the final after settling for a draw against the Blues on the final day of the second game in the ongoing Duleep Trophy at Dindigul. India Red secured three points by virtue of their first innings lead while the Blues managed only a solitary point from the match.
Brief Scores: India Red 316 (Siddhesh Lad 88; Saurabh Kumar 3-75, Akshay Wakhare 3-76) & 255 (Siddhesh Lad 68; Saurabh Kumar 4-79) drew with India Blue 293 (Dhruv Shorey 97; Parvez Rasool 4-107) and 128/8 (Shahbaz Nadeem 5-53, Parvez Rasool 3-59)
India Red spinners Shahbaz Nadeem and Parvez Rasool wrecked havoc as India Blue lost as many as eight wickets on the final day before both the captains shook hands and the game ended in a tame draw. In the second innings, the Blues suffered a massive batting collapse as they slumped from 76/0 to 110/8 with Nadeem and Rasool claiming five and three wickets respectively.
Skipper Faiz Fazal and top-scorer from the first innings Dhruv Shorey started off well but after Rasool cleaned up Fazal for 39, the Blues kept losing wickets at regular intervals to both the spinners. Shorey (45) was picked up by the slow left-
Earlier in the final day, India Red lost both the overnight batsmen Akshay Wadkar (47) and Siddhesh Lad (68) in two consecutive overs. The Reds also suffered a batting collapse as they kept on losing wickets at regular intervals. Only Karnataka man Abhimanyu Mithun showed some batting skills towards the end by contributing 47* off the equal number of deliveries. Akshay Wakhare and Saurabh Kumar pocketed four wickets each to bowl out the Reds for 255 with a target of 279 for the Faiz Fazal-led side.
India Blue and India Green will now lock horns on August 29 for a place in the finals after the Reds qualified for the summit clash with five points from two matches.
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