Dindigul: Uttar Pradesh left-arm spinner Saurabh Kumar's five-wicket haul helped India Green secure a vital 83-run lead against India Blue on a truncated third day of the final Duleep Trophy league match here on Friday, virtually sealing a spot in the final.
Resuming at 151 for 4, India Green lost the wicket of Gurkeerat Mann (20, 4X4) with the score at 175 and Harpreet Singh Bhatia (3) four runs later, both to Saurabh Kumar.
The doughty Parthiv Patel (80, 109 balls, 8X4) meanwhile reached his half-century and added 40 runs for the seventh wicket with Aditya Sarwate (11). When the skipper Patel fell leg-before to Saurabh Kumar at 231, it signalled the end of India Blue's hopes.
Patel played some trademark cuts and pulls and kept his team in the hunt even as Kumar kept pegging away to pick up wickets. Jaydev Unadkat cleaned up the tail to finish with impressive figures of 4 for 16 from 10.5 overs.
Armed with a lead, India Green reached 21 for no loss when rain interrupted play. Persistent rain forced the umpires to call off play an hour ahead of the scheduled close.
India Blue made 340 in the first innings, riding on half-centuries from four of its batsmen, including an impressive 93 by Dhruv Shorey. India Red has already booked a spot in the final,
beginning on September 4.