Karun Nair's compact 92 helped India Red stamp their authority on Day 1 of the Duleep Trophy encounter against India Blue at Alur on Friday. Ankit Kalsi gave brilliant company to Nair as the duo defied the Blue's bowling attack comprising Aniket Choudhary and Basil Thampi with effortless ease.
Brief scores: India Red163/2 (Karun Nair 92*) v India Blue.
After being asked to bowl first, the onus was on Priyank Panchal and Abhimanyu Easwaran to give the team a good start but Choudhary's pace was too much to handle for the latter as he was dismissed for a duck. Karun Nair joined Panchal to give the team a steady start but once Panchal seemed to have found his feet, Diwesh Pathania got the better of him for a 49-ball 15.
Nair and Himachal Pradesh batsman Ankit Kalsi tried to rebuild from there and it seemed they would never end. Shubaman Gill used all his resources in order to break the stand but Nair was so compact in his approach that everything rendered ineffective. Thankfully, Kalsi didn't bog down under pressure as well, with the help of 4 fours, he ended up scoring a fine 48 at the close of day's play.
Like it did in the first game, rain gods further disturbed the proceedings at Alur as only 68 overs of the game was possible on Day 1. By the time the umpires decided to call for stumps, India Red were on 163-2.