India Green 440 (Akshath 146, Lad 64, Garg 53, Wakhare 5-103) and 98 for 3 (Shorey 44*) drew with India Red 441 (Lomror 126, Nair 90, Avesh 64, Jadeja 4-135, Rajpoot 3-71)
Points: India Red 3, India Green 1
India Green qualified for the final of the Duleep Trophy 2019-20 on the basis of a superior quotient despite Avesh Khan's 56-ball 64 from No. 10 denying them a first-innings lead against India Red on day four in Alur.
India Green had to avoid a collapse in the second innings to make it to the final. Although they lost their openers - Faiz Fazal and Akshath Reddy - with just 24 on the board, Dhruv Shorey's unbeaten 44 ensured they were always well ahead of India Blue's quotient. With no result in sight, the captains shook hands at tea.
The final, to be played between the same two teams, will start on September 4 at M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru.
India Red started the day on 404 for 9, still 36 in arrears. But Avesh's maiden first-class half-century took them to 441, one run ahead of India Green's first-innings total. Avesh, who struck two fours and seven sixes in his knock, added 73 for the tenth wicket with Sandeep Warrier, the latter contributing only 5.
On the third evening, Avesh had come in with the side on 368 for 8 and saw Akshay Wakhare falling on the same score, with India Red trailing by 72 at that stage. But in one Dharmendrasinh Jadeja over, he smashed four sixes, three off them on successive balls, and took the side past 400. On Sunday morning, he hit two more sixes - both off Rahul Chahar - but the shot that brought the loudest cheer from the dressing room was a reverse hoick off Chahar that almost went for a six. With the legspinner targeting the rough from around the wicket, Avesh hit with the spin and found the deep-cover boundary to level the scores.
In the 138th over of India Red's innings, Priyam Garg was hit on the back of the neck while fielding at silly point. Garg found himself in the line of the ball while taking evasive action against a back foot punch by Avesh Khan. Garg's helmet had a neck guard, which softened the impact.
Garg was conscious but in pain and lay down near the pitch as the team physio applied an ice pack to the injured area. An ambulance was brought on to the field and, as a precautionary measure, he was taken to hospital where he cleared the first concussion test.