Jaydev Unadkat’s brilliant display helped India Red put India Green on the mat on the opening day of the Duleep Trophy final here at the M Chinnaswamy stadium on Wednesday.
India Green’s innings, after skipper Faiz Fazal chose to bat, never got going. After bad light ended the day’s proceedings, they were tottering at 147 for eight. At stumps, after the day was marred by five rain delays, Mayank Markhande and Tanveer-ul-Haq (5) were at the crease.
Markhande, with five boundaries, became the team's top-scorer with 32 runs but the Punjab player will have his task cut out on Thursday morning, with the conditions likely to favour the pacers.
Unadkat (4/51), who managed just four wickets from the two round-robin games, was right on the money throughout the day. But India Green also invited trouble with their callous approach. Unadkat, who struck twice in the first session and gave away 31 runs in 10 overs, returned in the post-lunch session to pick two more, conceding 20 runs in five overs.
'Duleep Trophy is the start of the season and I am trying to push my standards. It's about finding your rhythm. In the morning, the conditions were helpful. The ball was doing a bit. So I just kept bowling in the right areas,' said Unadkat.
The left-arm seamer gave India Red an ideal start by removing Fazal, who fell leg-before-wicket playing across the line. The right-handed duo of Akshath Reddy (16) and Dhruv Shorey (23) tried to build a partnership but the latter was out caught behind to a beauty from Sandeep Warrier.
Shorey’s wicket triggered a collapse. Siddhesh Lad played a loose and uppish drive straight to India Red skipper Priyank Panchal off Unadkat to depart for a first-ball duck. India Green pressed the panic button when Reddy, the centurion in the previous game, was run out. After pushing an Avesh Khan delivery to mid-on, Reddy set off for a quick run but non-striker Akshdeep Nath rightly refused the single. Reddy was too far down the wicket and India Red completed a simple run out.
After lunch, India Red continue to hold sway over their opponents. Unadkat crashed through the gates of Akshay Wadkar (6). Including Wadkar, India Red lost three wickets in the span of 12 balls.
Brief scores: India Green: 147/8 in 49 overs (Akshdeep Nath 29, Mayank Markhande 32; Jaydev Unadkat 4-58) vs India Red.