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Duleep Trophy 2016: Kuldeep Yadav's five-for gives India Red the victory in Duleep Trophy opener

26 Aug 2016, 14:50 IST
Kuldeep Yadav was absolutely magnificent with the pink ball during the Duleep Trophy opener

Kuldeep Yadav, the left-arm chinaman bowler from Uttar Pradesh, displayed immaculate skills on his pink-ball debut and picked up 6/88 in the second innings to help India Red defeat India Green by 219 runs in the opening encounter of the 2016-17 Duleep Trophy. The final day’s play was rendered a formality after India Green, struck by some undecipherable left-arm spin by Yadav were reduced to 217/7 at Stumps on Day 3, chasing down a mammoth target of 497 runs.

The bulk of the damage was done yesterday itself, as the 21-year-old spinner, who only made his Indian Premier League (IPL) debut this year, dismantled the India Green middle order by picking up three wickets in four overs – those of Robin Uthappa, Rajat Paliwal and Parthiv Patel – to leave the burden of saving the match on the shoulders of the captain, Suresh Raina.

Although Raina remained not out at the end of the third day’s play, he didn’t find enough support at the other end, as after a brief stand with Saurabh Tiwary, Yadav was back at it again, and dismissed Tiwary and Sandeep Sharma in the final session of play to leave India Green tottering.

It took only 10 more overs for India Red to complete the formalities on the 4th morning, as  Ashok Dinda was caught by Ishwar Pandey off Anureet Singh, Yadav scalped Raina for 90 as his sixth victim of the innings, and Akshay Wakhare got Pragyan Ojha caught by the man of the match, Abhinav Mukund, to effectively end the game and give his team the victory.

Mukund was deservedly adjudged as the man of the match – although Yadav gave him a close competition – for his innings of 77 and 169 that proved out to be the difference between the two sides, as far as batting was concerned. The game saw a dramatic shift of gears for India Red, as after being bundled out for 161 in their first innings, their batsmen looked at consummate ease in their second essay and piled up a massive total of 486 riding on Mukund and Sudip Chatterjee's (114) tons.

India Green, who had conceded a 10-run lead to their opponents after being bowled out for 151 in their first innings, had a monument to scale thenceforth, and the pressure of saving the game coupled with the chinaman bowler’s magic proved out to be too much for Raina and his men, as they were bowled out for 277 and lost the match by 219 runs.

With this win, India Red now have 6 points to their name and would take on India Blue in the second game of the tournament that begins on August 29.

Brief Scores: India Red 161 and 486 (Mukund 169, Chatterjee 114, S Gopal 5/123) beat India Green 151 and 277 (Raina 90, Uthappa 72, Kuldeep Yadav 6/88) by 219 runs.

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