Facing a mammoth total of 707, India Green fell flat in their chase as they were all out in their first innings for 237 on Day3. With a comfortable lead in their hands and the final berth all but confirmed, India Blue chose to not enforce the follow-on and ended the day with a lead of 555 runs.
After tons by Cheteshwar Pujara and Sheldon Jackson on Day 2 set up the stage for India Blue, the Blue bowlers had little to fear on Day 3. Surpassing a score of 707 was always going to be a daunting task, but India Green's collective batting failure played into the hands of their opponents.
India Blue's bowlers on top
The third day of the Test match has finally seen bowlers doing well after the first two days saw bowlers getting smacked all over the park. India Green's openers Murali Vijay and Robin Uthappa started tentatively after Gautam Gambhir decided to start the proceedings with Karn Sharma. It soon worked as Vijay was clean bowled in the fourth over starting India Green's collapse. Robin Uthappa held one end with a counter-attacking 41 off 45 balls that included 8 fours. But his dismissal was followed by Saurabh Tiwary's exit off a run-out.
Wicketkeeper batsman Parthiv Patel took on the counter-attacking mantle and kept the scoreboard ticking, but after his exit at 55 runs, the writing was on the wall.
Suresh Raina made a late attempt to salvage pride as his quick-fire innings of 52 from 43 balls took India Green past the 200-mark. The limited-overs specialist went after India Blue's bowlers as his flurry of boundaries caused panic at the end of the innings. However, this did not prevent India Green from losing wickets at regular intervals and Parvez Rasool brought an end to Raina's blitzkrieg with a clever off break. Karn Sharma soon removed Pragyan Ojha, ending India Green's innings at 237.
India Blue stroll
With a massive lead of 470 enough to help them qualify for the final against India Red, Gautam Gambhir decided to not enforce the follow-on. The skipper instead decided to rest the team and engage in some batting practice. Gambhir and Mayank Agarwal started the second innings in an assured fashion, scoring boundaries freely. The duo put on 85 runs on the board for the loss of no wickets with Gambhir just one run away from his half-century.
Lasith Malinga or Bhuvneshwar Kumar? Who will take more wickets?
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