Rain hampers play yet again

Cricket Duleep Trophy

Dinesh Karthik and Sheldon Jackson added 85 runs at a fair clip before a sharp evening downpour rendered the outfield unplayable in the rain-hit Duleep Trophy cricket match between India ‘Red’ and India ‘Blue’ here on Wednesday.

Only 16.2 overs of play was possible on the third day. Jackson impressed with a stroke-filled unbeaten 48 off 55 balls, which contained eight hits to the fence.

Old guard Karthik was batting on 35 off 65 balls, with the help of four boundaries as yet another day of cricket was curtailed by the elements at the Greater Noida Sports Complex Ground.

India Blue were placed at 285 for five in 78.2 overs when play was called off. This was due to the sixth-wicket unbeaten partnership of 85 runs between Sheldon and Karthik.

Play is scheduled to start 15 minutes early on the final day but the bad news is more rains are forecast.

Earlier, Sheldon and Karthik, who were yet to open their account overnight, began the proceedings at 200 for five in a confident manner; scoring in boundaries as well as running the ones and twos, and in the process steadying the ship that had been rocked by spinner Kuldeep Yadav’s four-wicket burst on Tuesday evening.

Jackson was harsh on Kuldeep as four of his eight boundaries came off the chinaman bowler. He hit many shots in the arc between mid-on and mid-wicket.

He also played a few cut shots off the pacers Ishwar Pandey and Nathu Singh. Gautam Gambhir (77) and Mayank Agarwal (92) missed out on centuries before Yadav’s spell had brought the match alive after a chunk of second day’s play had been lost to rain on the second day. After 34.2 overs on day one, only 27.4 overs were possible on the second day.

Brief scores: India Blue: 285/5 in 78.2 overs (Gautam Gambhir 77, Mayank Agarwal 92, Sheldon Jackson 48 n.o., Kuldeep Yadav 4-78) vs India Red.

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