Rasool's five gives India Green upper hand

India Green 100 for 3 (Gandhi 39, Chopra 26) trail India Blue 177 (Tiwary 78, Raina 40, Rasool 5-70, Choudhary 3-18) by 77 runs

Offspinner Parvez Rasool's 5 for 70 - his ninth five-wicket haul in first-class cricket - bowled out India Blue for 177 in two sessions on the first day in Kanpur.

Rasool combined with Aniket Choudhary, the left-arm quick from Rajasthan, and brought down India Blue from 106 for 2 to 163 for 8. Mayank Dagar, the left-arm spinner, then wrapped up the tail to set up a 53-run opening stand between India Green's openers Nitin Saini and Kaushik Gandhi. Both batsmen and No. 3 Prashant Chopra, too, fell under lights, but by stumps India Green had cut the deficit to 77.

It was Choudhary who gave the side early impetus, dismissing India Blue openers Samit Gohel and Srikar Bharat cheaply. India Blue recovered briefly through Manoj Tiwary and captain Suresh Raina - the only batsmen to pass 20 in the first innings. They added 90 for the third wicket at a run-rate of 4.02 before Raina became Rasool's first victim. Tiwary went onto make 78 off 138 balls before he was undone by Rasool as well. The slide continued as India Blue were dismissed in 52 overs.

In reply, Saini and Gandhi, who had initially been named in the India Blue squad, laid a solid platform for India Green. Saini scored only one four in his 71-ball 25, while the Tamil Nadu opener was more fluent, hitting seven fours in his 72-ball 39. Ishant Sharma, who was playing his first first-class match since the Ranchi Test in March this year, made the breakthrough when he had Saini caught by Hooda in the 22nd over. Five overs later, Vidarbha offspinner Akshay Wakhare removed Gandhi, and Chopra was dismissed off what turned out to be the last ball of the day, but India Green had the upper hand.