Blue ride on fifties from four of top five

Half-centuries by four of the top five batsmen helped India Blue reach 263 for 3 against India Green at stumps on the first day of the final round robin match in the Duleep Trophy at NPR College ground in Dindigul, Tamil Nadu.

Skipper Faiz Fazal chose to bat after winning the toss and provided the team a solid start in the company of wicketkeeper-batsman Smit Patel, putting on 127 runs for the first wicket.

File photo of Faiz Fazal. Photo Courtesy: Faiz Fazal official Facebook page.
File photo of Faiz Fazal. Photo Courtesy: Faiz Fazal official Facebook page.
The two openers began in a brisk manner and brought up the team 50 in the 12th over as the India Green bowlers could not make much of an impact.

Fazal brought up his 50 in 76 balls and continued to bat aggressively as India Green moved to 100 in the 28th over. He fell to Tamil Nadu medium-pacer K Vignesh for 76 (141 balls, eight fours), caught by Prashant Chopra.

Patel (51) fell at the same score (127), trapped leg-before by left-arm spinner Aditya Sarwate.

Delhi batsman Dhruv Shorey (66 batting), who shone in the previous match against India Red, continued his fine form and ran up a half-century, which included four boundaries and two sixes.

In the process, he was involved in an unbeaten 102-run partnership with Andhra’s Ricky Bhui (51 batting) to help India Green consolidate.

In between, the team had lost the wicket of Ganesh Sathish (14), the only batsman to miss out on Wednesday.

India Green and India Blue are battling it out for a place in the final against defending champion India Red.