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Duleep Trophy: Karn Sharma guides India Red to big win despite Karun Nair’s ton

Karun Nair’s century went in vain as Karn Sharma made full use of the red soil pitch at the Ekana International Cricket Stadium to help India Red win in Duleep Trophy.

cricket Updated: Sep 10, 2017 20:06 IST
Sharad Deep
Sharad Deep
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Duleep Trophy,Karn Sharma,Karun Nair
Karun Nair in action during the Duleep Trophy in Lucknow on Sunday.(HT Photo)

It turned out to be a perfect mix of spin and swing as leggie Karn Sharma and speedster Siddarth Kaul shared all 10 wickets between them to fashion India Red’s 170-run victory over India Green in the Duleep Trophy opener here on Sunday.

Karn, claiming his eighth five-wicket haul and the first of the season, made full use of the red soil pitch at the Ekana International Cricket Stadium, spinning the ball both ways. He finished with six for 94. He had 4/39 in the first innings.

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Kaul ripped through the India Green lower order after the tea on the final day of the four-day tie, bagging four for 46.

However, the day belonged to young Karun Nair, who slammed a sparkling century, the third at this venue so far. The 25-year-old Karnataka batsman struck his 10th first-class century, grabbing the opportunity after being named India A skipper for the two four-day games at Vijayawada later this month.

Karun Nair, who scored just 37 in the first innings, was stretched by Karn Sharma for a while, but kept his cool and rotated the strike with well-calculated shots. At 76, he gave a tough chance after Karn Sharma’s flipper ballooned off bat-pad, but the man at short point couldn’t reach the ball.

Karun Nair, who became only the second Indian to score a Test triple century against England at Chennai in December, was a little cautious, but didn’t stop punishing the bad deliveries. With a gentle push to point off CV Milind, Nair completed his 100 in 177 balls close to tea, with the help of 10 fours. India Green were 267 for five then.

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Karun Nair tried to dictate terms hitting consecutive boundaries off Siddarth Kaul in the first over after the break, but a slower one saw him offer a straight catch to Priyank Panchal at cover. His 203-ball 120 contained 13 fours.

India Green, resumed at their overnight 98/2 on the last day chasing 474 to win in the second innings. Karun Nair and opener Samarth Ravi stroked the ball nicely before Karn Sharma forced Ravi (59, 136b, 5x4) to nick to stumper Rishabh Pant.

They had added 89 runs for the third wicket. Karun Nair then shared a 38-run fourth-wicket stand with Ankit Bawne (17) before adding 49 runs for the fifth wicket with skipper Parthiv Patel (26, 45b, 2x4), who was caught brilliantly by Rahul Singh Gahlaut at short midwicket off Karn Sharma.

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Once Nair fell in the 81st over, it was a formality for Karn Sharma and Siddarth Kaul to ensure a facile win.

The teams travel to Kanpur to play against the Suresh Raina-led India Blue at the Green Park Stadium.

The five-day final is slated here from September 25.


India Red 323 & 307/2 decl. (P Panchal 133*, Dinesh Karthik 100*, RS Gahlaut 54, M Vijay 2/41) vs India Green 157 & 303 (K Nair 120, S Ravi 59, M Dagar 45, K Sharma 6/94, S Kaul 4/46).

First Published: Sep 10, 2017 20:06 IST

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