Dindigul (TN): India Red secured the all-important first innings lead against India Blue on the third day of the Duleep Trophy match at the NPR College ground here today thanks to a four-wicket haul by Parvez Rasool.
Talented Delhi batsman Dhruv Shorey missed out on a well-deserved ton, falling on 97 to Rasool as India Blue let slip the initiative after resuming at the overnight score of 183 for 5, losing three wickets in the space of 20 runs.
Shorey's innings consisted of nine fours and a six.
A 61-run stand for the eighth wicket between Jaydev Unadkat (39, 3X4, 1X6) and Dhawal Kulkarni (39, 4X4, 1X6) raised hopes of a lead for India Blue. However, Karnataka pacer Abhimanyu Mithun sent back Unadkat and Akshay Wakhare (0) in the space of three balls to peg back the Faiz Fazal-led team.
Kulkarni and B Ayyappa (11 not out) added 33 runs before Baba Aparajith ended the former's resistance and ensured India Red got a handy lead.
Rasool was the best bowler for India Red, picking up 4 for 107 from 36 overs while Rajneesh Gurbani, Mithun and Aparajith had two scalps each.
India Red skipper Abhinav Mukund seemed intent on making up for his first innings failure and hit a flurry of boundaries as the lead swelled.
After losing opening partner Sanjay Ramaswamy (6) with the score at 21, he added 45 runs with fellow Tamil Nadu batsman Aparajith (19).
The TN southpaw looked good for more before he fell to part-time spinner Ricky Bhui for 50, which included nine hits to the fence.
Siddhesh Lad, hero of the first innings, showed why he is rated so highly, as he moved to 47 before close of play taking India Red to 156 for 3, an overall lead of 179 runs with a day to go.
Brief scores: India Red 316 all out in 114.5 overs (Sanjay Ramaswamy 72, Siddesh Lad 88, B Aparajith 48, Saurabh Kumar 3 for 75, A Wakhare 3 for 76) vs India Blue 183 for 5 in 63 overs (Dhruv Shorey 86 batting, Ricky Bhui 41, Rajneesh Gurbani 2 for 12).