Vihari, Hooda give Blue three points

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The downpour on Friday improved the pitch — the moisture bound the surface — much to the delight of the batsmen. And a day’s rest, following rain and wet conditions, proved invigorating for the cricketers who returned to the crease hungry for runs.

Hanuma Vihari (105) and Deepak Hooda (133) guided India Blue past India Red’s first innings total of 383 and a crucial three points in their Duleep Trophy match at the Green Park Stadium here on Saturday.

Vihari and Hooda held the Blue’s innings together. Their 132-run partnership for the third wicket, apart from the latter’s 98-run stand with Jaydev Unadkat, tilted the scales in the team’s favour. Unadkat made an entertaining half-century.

Vihari struck 15 fours in his 227-ball vigil, while Hooda’s knock which came off 174 balls contained 14 fours and three 6s.

Bhargav Bhatt rubbed salt into Red’s wounds with a cameo 33 that had four sixes.

Leg-spinner Karn Sharma, who had opened the bowling for Red, bagged five wickets for the second time in two matches. He took his tally to 15 wickets in three innings.

Basil Thampi worked up good pace and had the satisfaction of sending Vihari’s off-stump flying with a beauty, one of his two wickets.

Left-arm spinner Vijay Gohil, who had helped double century-maker B.

Indrajith add a record 178 for the last wicket and revive Red’s hopes in the first innings, took two wickets for an expensive 131 runs.

Of course, it was entertaining cricket for the fans who lustily cheered the boundary hits, many of them over the ropes. But, with ‘live’ scoring on the Board’s website not available for two sessions, reportedly due to an internet issue, not many would have had any clue about play having resumed in bright weather conditions on Saturday.

Blue used the last session under floodlights to get some valuable bowling practice for the game against Green at the same venue. Rishabh Pant sparkled (46, 23b, 7×4, 2×6) before being run out by Hooda.

Indrajith was declared man-of-the-match for his double century in the first innings.

The scores:

India Red — 1st innings: 383.

India Blue — 1st innings: Samit Gohil c Karthik b Karn 32, Hanuma Vihari

b Thampi 105, Manoj Tiwary c Rishabh b Thampi 20, Suresh Raina c

Panchal b Vijay 52, Deepak Hooda c Rishabh b Vijay 133, Ishan Kishan c

Rishabh b Milind 0, Jaydev Unadkat c Indrajith b Karn 57, Bhargav Bhatt c Karthik b Karn 33, Akshay Wakhare st. Rishabh b Karn 3, Ankit Rajpoot c Indrajith b Karn 4, Pankaj Rao (not out) 0; Extras (b-1, lb-2, nb-2): 5; Total (in 114 overs): 444.

Fall of wickets: 1-47, 2-86, 3-159, 4-291, 5-300, 6-398, 7-404, 8-439, 9-442.

India Red bowling: Karn Sharma 25-4-94-5, Siddharth Kaul 25-6-60-0,

Basil Thampi 21-1-97-2, C.V. Milind 16-3-59-1, Vijay Gohil 27-5-131-2.

India Red — 2nd innings: Priyank Panchal c Vihari b Wakhare 19, Sudip

Chatterjee b Unadkat 0, Rahul Singh Gahlaut c Bhargav b Rajpoot 19,

Rishabh Pant run out 46, C.V. Milind c Raina b Tiwary 19, B. Indrajith (not out) 24, Dinesh Karthik (not out) 6; Total (for five wkts. in 35 overs): 133.

Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-29, 3-84, 4-88, 5-121.

India Blue bowling: Pankaj Rao 3-1-10-0, Jaydev Unadkat 6-0-41-1, Ankit Rajpoot 3-0-17-1, Akshay Wakhare 10-3-26-1, Deepak Hooda 2-1-7-0, Bhargav Bhatt…

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