17 Wickets tumble on pink debut

Duleep Trophy

Match Report: Day 1: India Green vs India Red at Greater Noida, August 23-26, 2016

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Brief scores: India Red 1st innings 161 in 48.2 ovs (Abhinav Mukund 77, Anureet Singh 32; Sandeep Sharma 462, Pragyan Ojha 319) vs India Green 1st innings 1167 in 35 ovs (Suresh Raina 35, Saurabh Tiwary batting 27; Kuldeep Yadav 326, Nathu Singh 332)

For the first six to seven overs of the match, the pink ball didn’t do much while making its firstclass debut on the opening day of the Duleep Trophy game between India Red and Green here on Tuesday . It wasn’t a sign of things to come, however, as the wickets started falling like ninepins soon after. It wasn’t all due to the new ball, though -a combination of poor shot selection, a green top and some dampness early on saw as many as 17 wickets tumble on Day One of the Duleep Trophy . Eventually , India Red finished their first innings at 161 just when the floodlights were about to come on. Red opener Abhinav Mukund played a very steady knock for his team. For Green, Sandeep Sharma produced a brilliant spell. He was well assisted by Pragyan Ojha’s smart bowling and Ankit Rajpoot’s nagging line and length.

The ball started doing things from the very first over when India Green came to the crease. When stumps were drawn, Green were struggling at 1167 in their first innings, still short by 45 runs. Nathu Singh impressed with a disciplined spell for Red while chinaman Kuldeep Yadav took three scalps as the first pink-ball, day-night match showed ample signs of turning into a low-scoring affair with an exciting finish. Green skipper Suresh Raina made a patient 35.

One positive outcome was that the pink ball did not suffer from visibility issues. The bright nature of the ball didn’t pose as a challenge for either team. Perhaps a black sidescreen would have been a better choice than the white background on offer. “I had problems sighting the ball in the practice, but I didn’t have much problem today in the game. A few balls were holding up and there was some swing, but the wicket was slower than what I expected,“ Mukund said after the game.

By the time the second session began, the Greater Noida pitch, which was prepared by the BCCI’s grounds and pitches committee at a very short notice, had eased out a lot due to bright sunshine. Earlier, it was a brave choice from India Red captain Yuvraj Singh to win the toss and opt to bat first on the double-paced pitch. Based on his fast bowling options, his counterpart Suresh Raina also wanted to bowl first, a choice which fell into his lap by the virtue of losing the toss.

Floodlight failure leads to chaos

Greater Noida: More than an hour’s play on Day One of the Duleep Trophy between India Red and Green was affected due to floodlight malfunctioning here in Greater Noida on Tuesday.

The game was first affected in the post dinner session and proceedings by 17 minutes while the second interruption lasted more than 40 minutes.

Board sources told OCT that Greater Noida authorities did not follow the stipulated lead-in and warm-up time for the lights as instructed, which was roughly four hours before the game.

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