Published On: Mon, Aug 29th, 2016

Agarwal, Gambhir hit fifties on truncated day

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India Blue 105 for 0 (Agarwal 53*, Gambhir 51*) v India Red
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details



File photo: Gautam Gambhir reached his 61st first-class half-century before rain hit Greater Noida © AFP

A thunderstorm that turned the Greater Noida Sports Complex ground into a swamp washed out close to two sessions of play after Mayank Agarwal and Gautam Gambhir struck half-centuries at the top of the order after Yuvraj Singh’s India Red elected to bowl.

Yuvraj, perhaps mindful of his side being bowled out in under two sessions in their Duleep Trophy opener at the same venue last week, was left to wonder what may have been had they converted two opportunities – one each from Gambhir and Agarwal – in the 34.2 overs that were possible. A majority of those were bowled by the pace trio of Nathu Singh, Pradeep Sangwan and Ishwar Pandey in search of seam movement when there was none on a fresh surface that had less grass cover than the one used for the previous game.

Gambhir, batting with an open-chested stance, seemingly in a bid to negate the away-going deliveries that have often discomfited him over a period of time, was troubled early on by his Delhi team-mate Sangwan. In the third over of the morning, the left-arm pacer saw an edge fall short of second slip and then had a shout for lbw turned down, but released the pressure in the very next over when he grassed a miscued pull at fine leg off Nathu.

Agarwal’s technique outside off stump also came under scrutiny, but unlike Gambhir, he was happy to trust the bounce and hit through the line. After Nathu’s initial burst, he looked increasingly comfortable against the Pandey and the spin of Akshay Wakhare and Kuldeep Yadav.

Kuldeep, the left-arm wrist spinner who picked up his maiden five-wicket haul last week, didn’t get the kind of purchase he would have hoped for. He was also guilty of bowling a touch flat and short as Gambhir, who captains him at Kolkata Knight Riders, eased him repeatedly behind square on the off side.

Agarwal, who had a lucky reprieve minutes from the tea break when he fended a Nathu bouncer back for a return catch off a no-ball, got to his fifty in the second over after the break when he lofted Kuldeep over the infield. Gambhir then struck Sangwan for successive boundaries to raise his half-century before retiring to the dressing room to see a gentle drizzle turn into a thunderstorm.

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ESPN Sports Media Ltd.






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