Centuries from Abhinav Mukund and Sudip Chatterjee helped India Red reach a comfortable lead of 354 runs against India Green in the Duleep Trophy match at Greater Noida. The duo formed a 240-run partnership on day 2 as the Reds ended the day on 344/3 with Mukund unbeaten on 162 in the middle.
Brief Scores: India Red 161 and 344/3 (Mukund 162*, Chatterjee 114; Rajpoot 1/63) lead India Green 151 all-out (Tiwary 50, Raina 35; Nathu Singh 6/53) by 354 runs
After bowlers dominated the opening day of the country's maiden first-class game with the pink ball by picking 17 wickets, the batsmen found their groove on the second day with Abhinav Mukund and Sudip Chatterjee scoring tons for India Red. Starting from their overnight score of 116 for 7, India Green hoped to take their innings forward on day 2, but the day began on a damp note as
Rains disturbed the play for an hour, but when the match started again, it was once again the bowlers who ruled the roost. Nathu Singh, who picked up three wickets on the opening day, picked two more in an over on the second day to complete his five-wicket haul. He removed Ashok Dinda and Pragyan Ojha in an over before removing Saurabh Tiwary for 50 to end India Green’s innings for 151. That gave the Reds a 10-run first innings lead.
Having folded out for 161 in the first innings, the Reds batsmen needed a big performance to take the team to a winning position, and they did just that. Kona Srikar Bharat started the innings in an aggressive fashion and went after the India Green pacers in a bid to counter the seam movement. The ploy worked initially, and the opener quickly raced away to 20 runs, but a full ball from Ankit Rajpoot cleaned up the wicketkeeper-batsman.
However, unlike the first innings, which saw batsmen returning one after the other to the pavilion in quick succession, Sudip
Sudip started slowly and took 18 balls to get off the mark. But, Mukund continued from where he had left off in the first innings and found the ropes
It was Mukund who became the first centurion in first-class cricket in India with the pink ball after he tucked Rajpoot away to the midwicket for two runs in the 46th over. Sudip also went past the milestone a few overs later by sending a ball from Jalaj Saxena to the ropes. The partnership between the two was ended by Shreyas Gopal after Sudip misjudged the length of the ball to get trapped right in front of the stumps. He departed for 114, and that brought skipper Yuvraj Singh to the crease.
However, just like in the first innings, the skipper had a short stay in the middle and gave a return catch to Jalaj Saxena to depart for 10. But, Mukund made sure that the Reds were in a comfortable position by the end of the day as he went past the 150-mark to help his team reach 344/3 at the end of play.
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