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Shorey stars as India Blue book spot in final against India Red

Dhruv Shorey hits over the top PTI

India Blue 340 (Shorey 93, Fazal 76, Vignesh 5-50) and 117 (Shorey 40, Sarwate 5-32) drew with India Green 257 (Chopra 80, Patel 80, Saurabh 5-98) and 20 for 2 (Chatterjee 11*, Saurabh 2-11)

India Blue will meet India Red in the final of the Duleep Trophy 2018-19, having taken the first-innings lead in a drawn encounter against India Green at the NPR College Ground in Dindigul.

Both teams had one point coming into the match and Blue got three points to Green's solitary point after making 340 in the first innings and restricting Green to 257.

In the second innings, Blue were bowled out for just 117, but with just over a session left for Green to achieve a target of 201, a draw was the most likely result. Eventually, only 5.4 overs were bowled in the final session on Saturday. Green were 20 for 2, with Blue having given the new ball to a couple of left-arm spinners in Uttar Pradesh's Saurabh Kumar and Baroda's Swapnil Singh.

Saurabh took both wickets, of openers Prashant Chopra and Priyank Panchal, to make it seven for the match after his first-innings 5 for 98.

Blue's batting was held together mostly by Dhruv Shorey, who followed his 93 in the first innings with 40 in the second, top-scoring both times and being awarded the Man of the Match.

Blue's batting and bowling in the first innings set up the match. Along with Shorey, Faiz Fazal (76), wicketkeeper Smit Patel (51) gave the team a sound foundation, while Ricky Bhui hit 56 to ensure that Fazal's decision to bat first was vindicated by the top order. Blue collapsed from 303 for 4 to lose six wickets for 37 runs in 11.3 overs, with medium-pacer K Vignesh taking 5 for 50.

In Green's reply, opener Chopra and captain Parthiv Patel both hit 80, but there were few other significant contributions, with Jaydev Unadkat (4 for 16) combining with Saurabh to bowl them out.

In what has been a pattern in the tournament, spinners dominated in the second innings, with Aditya Sarwate taking 5 for 32 as Blue were bowled out in just 34 overs for a meagre total. However, with time running out in the game, and a rain interruption too on the last day, it was mostly of academic interest only.

While the league matches were four-day affairs, the final will be a five-day game and take place at the same venue from September 4.