Lucknow: India Red reached 187 for 7 in their second innings to grab an overall lead of 371 runs against India Blue in the five-day Duleep Trophy final at the Ekana International Cricket Stadium on Wednesday.
Overnight batsmen Jaydev Unadkat (83 off 90 balls) and A Easwaran (127 off 171 balls) shared a 140-run partnership for the sixth wicket to help India Blue post 299 all out in 67 overs after resuming day 3 at 181 for 5.
With a healthy first-innings lead of 184, India Red then reached 187 for 7 in 62 overs in their second innings.
At the draw of stumps, Washington Sundar (42) and Siddarth Kaul (5) were at the crease with India Red extending their overall lead to 371 runs with three wickets still remaining.
Earlier, No. 7 batsman Unadkat blasted seven boundaries and four sixes to score a superb fifty, while opener Easwaran completed a deserving century to help India Blue reduce the deficit.
Easwaran, who was at an overnight score of 87, hit 15 fours in his 171-ball innings of 127.
For India Red, the spin duo of Sundar and Vijay Gohil completed five-wicket hauls each to make life difficult for India Blue.
In their second innings, India Red failed to stitch partnerships as they kept losing wickets at regular intervals.
Opener AA Herwadkar (8) was the first to be dismissed by Wakhare in the fifth over, while new man IR Jaggi's stay lasted for just 12 balls as he was sent back by Bhatt in the eighth over.
PP Shaw was then dismissed in the 11th over by some brilliant piece of fielding by Sharma and Bharat, who joined hands to run out the opener as India Red slipped to 43 for 3.
A lot was expected of skipper Dinesh Karthik but he too perished in the 15th over. B Indrajith (59) then steadied the ship along with Sundar as India Red scored 135 when the former was removed by Unadkat.
SA Yadav was next to go when he was caught by Tiwary off Bhatt's bowling, while two overs later Gohil was sent back to the hut by Bhatt with Bharat coming up with a good piece of stumping.
Bhargav Bhatt (3/75) was the highest wicket-taker, while Akshay Wakhare (2/53) and Unadkat also were among wickets.
India Red 1st innings: 483 all out in 127.2 overs.
India Blue 1st innings: 299 all out in 67 overs (AR Easwaran 127, Jaydev Unadkat 83; V Gohil 5/121, Washington Sundar 5/94).
India Red 2nd innings: 187 for 7 in 62 overs (B Indrajith 59; BA Bhatt 3/75).