<
>

Gowtham, Karn leave India Red in command

India Red 323 (Panchal 105, Vijay 3-46) and 19 for 1 lead India Green 157 (Chopra 65, Gowtham 5-46, Karn 4-39) by 185 runs

India Green, steamrolled by the spin combination of Karn Sharma and K Gowtham, lost their last eight wickets for 34 runs as India Red took a first-innings lead of 166 in the opening fixture of the pink-ball tournament in Lucknow. By stumps on day two, India Red had stretched their lead to 185 for the loss of one wicket.

Gowtham's offbreaks fetched him his third five-wicket haul in first-class cricket, while the legspinner Karn collected four wickets to derail an India Green team that had looked on course to get close to India Red's first-innings total of 323. India Green were 123 for 2, following a 113-run stand for the third wicket between Prashant Chopra (65) and Karun Nair (37), before the two spinners caused havoc. The only other India Green batsman to reach double-figures was the captain Parthiv Patel, and when he reached 5, he completed 10,000 first-class runs. Gowtham, however, removed all three players before they could cause too much damage, and then cleaned up the tail to finish with 5 for 46.

In the afternoon, India Red added 101 to their overnight total of 232 for 5 before being bowled out. Dinesh Karthik, their captain, completed his half-century before he was eighth out with his team approaching 300. Part-time offspinner M Vijay turned out to be India Green's most successful bowler: he finished with career-best first-class figures of 3 for 46.

After 15 wickets were lost on the second day, India Red began their second innings with 13 overs still remaining. They finished the day on 19 for 1, with Vijay trapping opener Sudip Chatterjee lbw.