Dindigul, Tamil Nadu: Young Punjab batsman Anmolpreet Singh missed out on a well-deserved century by four runs even as it helped India Blue recover from 107 for 4 to 260 for 5 against India Red on the opening day of the Duleep Trophy final Tuesday at NPR College ground in Tamil Nadu's Dindigul.
Electing to bat after winning the toss, skipper Faiz Fazal (32, 44 balls, 4x4) and Smit Patel (22, 47 balls, 4x4) provided a solid start, adding 50 runs before the latter was leg-before to off-spinner Parvez Rasool (2 for 65).
Fazal, who has played a solitary ODI for the country in 2016, fell six runs later, bowled by leg-spinner Mihir Hirwani, son of former India bowler Narendra Hirwani.
Delhi batsman Dhruv Shorey, who has been in good touch in the tournament, grafted his way to 18 in 70 balls, adding 44 runs with Deepak Hooda (26, 84 balls, 3x4) before falling to M Prasidh Krishna.
When Hooda was dismissed seven runs later, caught by Siddhesh Lad off Rasool, India Blue looked in a spot of bother.
Anmolpreet and talented Andhra batsman Ricky Bhui (53 batting) rose to the occasion and put on 144 runs for the fifth wicket with a display of enterprise and watchfulness apart from some impressive strokeplay.
The 20-year old Punjab right-hander played some delightful shots on both sides of the wicket and took the team to a position of strength.
He also hit a big six before nicking a delivery from Prasidh to Ishan Kishan behind the wickets.
His knock included 14 fours and a six.
Bhui, who was the more watch of the two, defied the India Red attack, which saw Rasool (24 overs) and Hirwani (29 overs) do the bulk of the bowling.
He had five hits to the fence in his 136-ball innings.
Prasidh, who has impressed in recent times, bowled with pace and control and had two wickets to show for his efforts.
India Red included wicketkeeper Ishan Kishen and Prasidh, who played in the recently-concluded quadrangular series featuring India "A", "B", Australia "A" and South Africa "A".
Tamil Nadu batsman Baba Aparajith, who scored a ton in the opening match of the tournament, missed out on selection for defending champion India Red.