India Blue v India Green, Duleep Trophy 2016-17, 1st day, Greater Noida September 4, 2016

Agarwal 161 and Pujara fifty highlight run-fest

ESPNcricinfo staff

India Blue 336 for 4 (Agarwal 161, Gambhir 90, Pujara 63*) v India Green
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

File photo: Mayank Agarwal struck his highest first-class score © PTI

Opener Mayank Agarwal smashed 161 off 218 balls to headline a dominating performance from India Blue in the third Duleep Trophy match in Greater Noida. His captain Gautam Gambhir was run out 10 short of his century, which brought Cheteshwar Pujara to the crease to face the pink ball. Pujara finished the day unbeaten on 63, having spent more than 30 overs at the crease. With those three bossing the game, India Blue racked up 336 runs at 3.73 per over, giving no respite to the Suresh Raina-led India Green.

The BCCI had reintroduced the Duleep Trophy this season and chose to play the matches under lights to see if they could host day-night Tests in the near future. To that end, Pujara's innings now and M Vijay's later - he is part of the opposition - would be crucial. They are the only representatives from the first-choice Indian Test side who have been involved in the tournament so far.

The other players would also want to catch the selectors' eyes and Agarwal would feel he has done reasonably well, following up his 92 last week with his second first-class hundred on Sunday. Often seen as a short-format specialist - his four-day debut came three years after he had begun his T20 career - Agarwal struck 21 fours and one six and was a big contributor to India Blue's 212-run opening partnership. Considering he was only 21 matches old in long-form cricket, and only recently became a reliable opener for Karnataka, his big break might take a while coming.

Gambhir, also looking for a go at international cricket, struck his second successive half-century. He took a particular liking to the spinners, securing 62 of his 90 runs and eight of his 10 fours off Jajaj Saxena, Pragyan Ojha and Shreyas Gopal.

Pujara's spread was a bit more even. He struck his sixth ball for four - a pull shot off Ashok Dinda - and continued finding the boundary regularly. Back-to-back hits to the fence with nine overs left to stumps brought him his fifty. Siddhesh Lad, caught for 1, was the only batsman to miss out.

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