Duleep Trophy | Gambhir, Mayank Agarwal give India Blue solid start before rain curtails day 1

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Duleep Trophy | Gambhir, Mayank Agarwal give India Blue solid start before rain curtails day 1

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SportsCafe Desk


In the second match of the 2016 Duleep Trophy, captain Gautam Gambhir and Mayank Agarwal gave India Blue a brilliant start against India Red with an unbeaten 105-run partnership. However, rain paid a visit to Greater Noida after the opening session to force the umpires to call off the day’s play.

Brief scores : India Blue 105/0 in 34.2 overs (Gambhir 51*, Agarwal 53*) vs India Red

After securing an emphatic 219-run victory over Indian Green in the opening match of the 2016 Duleep Trophy, which is being played under lights with the pink ball, Yuvraj Singh-led India Red welcomed Gautam Gambhir’s India Blue to Greater Noida for their final group-stage encounter. Yuvraj Singh won the toss and decided to bowl first in the match and made two changes to the XI by bringing in the Delhi duo of Nitish Rana and Pradeep Sangwan.

India Blue skipper Gambhir gleefully accepted the invitation to bat first, and along with his opening partner Mayank Agarwal faced the India Red’s bowlers with caution. The duo were circumspect in the initial overs and kept their attacking shots in the locker as the scoreboard moved like a snail. Nathu Singh, who took a six-wicket haul in the first match, almost had the wicket of Gambhir in the 5th over after the southpaw went for a hopeful pull. He mistimed it and gave Sangwan at deep fine leg a chance, but the pacer misjudged it to give Gambhir a reprieve.

On the other hand, captain Yuvraj rotated his bowlers well and kept the pressure on the batsmen without giving runs away. Although the bowling was good, wickets evaded Yuvraj and co., and it gave Gambhir and Agarwal a chance to move the innings forward. Just before the end of first session, Nathu Singh had another chance to take a wicket, and once again it was his short ball that did the trick. Although Agarwal top-edged it, a no-ball from the pacer made sure that India Blue went into the break without losing a wicket.

Gambhir and Agarwal brought up their fifties and the team’s hundred right after the break and looked in good rhythm in the middle. But, rain also arrived soon to give them some company in the middle. With the rain refusing to stop, the umpires called off the day’s play at 7pm IST.

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