• Kanpur, Sep 16 (IANS) India Red secured their place in the final of the Duleep Trophy after the second match of the tournament against India Blue ended in a tame draw at the Green Park Stadium here on Saturday.

    With the draw, the Dinesh Karthik-led India Red have now seven points in their kitty from two matches while India Blue have three points with one match remaining against India Green at the same venue.

    After the third day’s play was called off due to a wet outfield, with only 4.4 overs bowled on Friday, India Blue started the final day with both the overnight batsmen — Hanuma Vihari and Deepak Hooda — belting their respective centuries to propel the Suresh Raina-led side to 444 and more importantly take a crucial 61-run first innings lead.

    Vihari departed after a patient 227-ball 105 in the first session of the final day but Hooda (133 from 174 balls; 4*14, 6*3) continued the hammering with pacer Jaydev Unadkat, who blasted a 53-ball 57, comprising nine hits over the fence.

    Hooda and Unadkat formed a strong 96-run sixth wicket partnership before leg-spinner Karn Sharma broke the partnership, sending Unadkat back before the team score could reach 400.

    Soon after, Hooda was removed by Vijay Gohil, which was a big breakthrough for his side. Bhargav Bhatt added 33 crucial runs that took India Blue’s lead further before Karn ran through the tail to end India Blue’s innings.

    Karn emerged as India Red’s most successful bowler with a 5-wicket haul, while Basil Thampi and Gohil bagged a couple of wickets each.

    In response, India Red reached 133/5 in their second innings in the final session of play before the match ended in a draw.

    First innings double centurion Baba Indrajith was unbeaten on 24 along with skipper Karthik (6 not out) when both the captains decided to shake hands and settle for a draw.

    Brief Scores: India Red 383, 133/5 (Rishabh Pant 46, Baba Indrajith 24 not out, Ankit Rajpoot 1/17) vs India Blue 444 (Deepak Hooda 133, Hanuma Vihari 105, Jaydev Unadkat 57, Karn Sharma 5/94, Basil Thampi 2/97, Vijay Gohil 2/131).

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    The IANS was founded by Indian American publisher Gopal Raju as the India Abroad News Service. It was later renamed the Indo-Asian News Service.

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