Priyank Panchal guides India Red to commanding position in Duleep Trophy
Priyank Panchal’s unbeaten century has taken India Red to a strong position against India Green in the Duleep Trophy.cricket Updated: Sep 09, 2017 22:43 IST
Priyank Panchal, the new run-machine of domestic cricket, on Saturday became the 11th batsman to score a century in both innings of the Duleep Trophy, helping India Red tighten the noose around India Green on the penultimate day of the four-day tie here.
It was the 12th time a batsman scored a ton in both innings of the tournament. Lalchand Rajput was the first to achieve it in 1986-87 during the West Zone vs South Zone tie at Mumbai, and before Panchal, Dinesh Karthik did it twice.
The first triple centurion for Gujarat in domestic cricket, Panchal on Friday struck an unbeaten 133 to help India Red stretch their overall lead to 473 after stand-in skipper Karthik chose to declare the second innings on 307/2 soon after striking his maiden unbeaten century of the season.
In reply, India Green were 98 for two at stumps. They still need 376 runs for an outright win with eight wickets in hand. Opener Ravi Samarth (46, 109b, 5x4) and Karun Nair (36, 55b, 5x4) were at the crease when the stumps were drawn. Leggie Karn Sharma accounted for both Murali Vijay (13) and Prashant Chopra (0) off successive deliveries in his fifth over.
Panchal, who had scored 105 in the first innings, looked calm and composed in his 213-ball essay, which contained 18 hits to the fence. He drove, cut and slashed the ball nicely to the ropes and didn’t allow the India Green bowlers to pose any problem to him at the Ekana Stadium.
Karthik (100*, 124b, 9x4, 2x6) too kept his cool while building his innings with perfect stroke-play. Though the India Green spinners, especially part-timer Murali Vijay tried to break his concentration, bowling some quicker ones before the second break, it didn’t make any difference to Karthik, who crossed the 9,000-run mark in domestic cricket while hitting his 26th first-class century.
Both Karthik and Panchal stitched together a 181-run stand for the third-wicket after India Red resumed at the overnight score of 19/1 while enjoying a 166-run first-innings lead after scoring 323. India Green scored 157 in their first essay.
Young Rahul Singh Gahlaut too underlined his potential as a top-order batsman, scoring an 87-ball 54, which contained seven hits to the fence. Murali Vijay remained the most successful bowler, bagging two for 41.
BRIEF SCORES: India Red 323 & 307/2 (P Panchal 133*, Dinesh Karthik 100*, RS Gahlaut 54; M Vijay 2 for 41) vs India Green 157 & 98 for 2 (Samarth R 46*, K Nair 36*; K Sharma 2 for 34).