Finally, Ankit got his man in the 25th over as Priyank fended off to wicketkeeper Akshay Wadkar after making a 78-ball 33.
BENGALURU: Abhimanyu Easwaran’s 102 put India Red in a comfortable position against India Green at the end of Day Two in the Duleep Trophy final being played at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Thursday. After dismissing Green for 231, Reds were 175/2 at stumps.
Easwaran and Priyank Panchal gave India Red a steady start. Priyank was given a respite in the sixth over by Ankit, who dropped a straight chance off his bowling when the batsman was on 4. Later, both the batsmen turned patient and waited for bad deliveries to be punished.
Finally, Ankit got his man in the 25th over as Priyank fended off to wicketkeeper Akshay Wadkar after making a 78-ball 33. Next man Karun Nair looked positive from the start. He struck three boundaries during his short stay at the crease before being bowled by Mayank for 24.
Easwaran eased his way to his 13th first-class century via an undercut that passed through the wicket-keeper for a boundary off Markande.
By the end of day’s play, Easwaran and Kalsi had built a partnership of 49 runs. Green’s Rajesh Mohanty had a forgetful outing with the ball as he bowled seven no-balls and two wides as he went wicket-less in nine overs.
Mayank was surprisingly the star with the bat for Green, his valuable partnership with the lower-order batsmen helping the team score past 200.
The last pair of Ankit Rajpoot and Mayank stitched a vital 59-run stand for the last wicket, keeping the Red bowlers at bay. Red had their chance though as Mahipal Lomror spilled a catch at long-on, Ankit the beneficiary.
Abhimanyu dedicated his century to his sister Pallavi by showing off the Rakhi (thread) towards camerapersons. The 23-year-old batsman, who had a terrific 2018-19 Ranji season for Bengal — scoring 861 runs at an incredible average of 95.66 — believes a century at the start of the domestic season will boost his confidence and prepare him for upcoming games.
India Green 231 in 72.1 overs (Mayank 32 n.o, Ankit Rajpoot 30, Jaydev Unadkat 4/83, Sandeep Warrier 2/39) vs India Red 175/2 in 52 overs (Abhimanyu Easwaran 102 n.o, Priyank 33, Ankit Rajpoot 1/24)