Agarwal slams fine century

Agarwal slams fine century

Cricket Duleep Trophy : India Blue reach 336 for 3 on opening day

Agarwal slams fine century

 Opener Mayank Agarwal continued his rich vein of form with a cracking 161 as India Blue batsmen made 336 for three against Green on the first day of the virtual semifinal clash of the Duleep Trophy, here on Sunday.

Agarwal, who had scored 92 in the earlier game, scored his second first-class century. He faced 218 balls hitting 21 boundaries and a six off Pragyan Ojha. Veteran opener Gautam Gambhir called it right at the toss and did not hesitate to make first use of a placid wicket with nothing much in it for the bowlers.

Having added 151 for the first wicket in the earlier tie against the Reds, Gambhir and Agarwal were a notch better against an insipid Green attack adding 212 runs for the opening stand.

The veteran India discard missed out on a well-deserved hundred as he was run-out having scored a sedate 90 off 193 balls with 10 boundaries.

In fact the soon-to-be 35 Gambir dropped anchor at one end letting right-handed Agarwal take the attack to the opposition camp with some lovely shots through off-side.

Such was the domination that save Jasprit Bumrah’s inswinger which had Agarwal adjudged leg before for 9 only to find that the bowler had overstepped, there was not much to cheer for the Suresh Raina led side as the bowlers, apart from Ashok Dinda (1/54 in 13 overs), failed to make a single breakthrough.

Even Test specialist Cheteshwar Pujara, playing his first pink ball match, looked comfortable during his unbeaten 63 with 13 fours as he added 103 runs for the second wicket with Agarwal before the Karnataka opener perished at backward square leg off Dinda’s bowling.

Siddhesh Lad (1) was the only batsman to fail on the day.The day however belonged to 25-year-old Agarwal, who was again at his best when he was driving on the up against the pacers. Most of his 21 boundaries — irrespective of pacers or spinners, were hit through the cover and cover point region, which he repeatedly bisected with ease.

The hundred came by pulling a long-hop from leg-spinner Shreyas Gopal.
Brief scores: India Blue (I Innings): 336/3 in 90 overs (Mayank Agarwal 161, Gautam Gambhir 90, Cheteshwar Pujara 63 (batting)) vs India Green.

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