Seamer Ankit Rajpoot struck thrice on the opening day as India Green took early control of their contest against India Red in the Duleep Trophy. India Red made a great start after opting to bat in the day-night four-day encounter in Dindigul as skipper Abhinav Mukund and Sanjay Ramaswamy put on 69 for the first wicket in quick time in the opening session. Rajpoot then got rid of Mukund for 34 and trapped Ramaswamy just four overs later – leg-before-wicket for 37 – to cripple India Red.
Baba Aparajith and Writtick Chatterjee were involved in promising stands with Ashutosh Singh but the partnerships never kicked off with India Green making regular incisions. While K Vignesh got rid of his statemate Aparajith, Jalaj Saxena accounted for Chatterjee’s wicket.
Ashutosh then focussed on blunting the bowling attack alongside wicketkeeper-batsman Akshay Wadkar as the pair took 222 balls to add 61 for the fifth wicket. But the pair’s efforts to bat through the day were thwarted by the part-time legspin of Prashant Chopra, who finally ended Wadkar’s resistance by sneaking through his defence.
Shahbaz Nadeem then came out and struck a couple of boundaries with Ashutosh going past his half-century at the other end, but it was India Green who finished the day on top with Rajpoot removing Nadeem just five overs before stumps.
Brief scores: India Red 230/6 (Ashutosh Singh 57*, Sanjay Ramaswamy 37; Ankit Rajpoot 3-37) vs India Green.
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