After Cheteshwar Pujara dominated the first two days with his bat, scoring a scintillating double century, the other superman of first-class cricket, Ravindra Jadeja, ended with figures of 5/95 to bowl out India Red for 356. Stuart Binny (98) battled hard with the lower middle order but still couldn't stop India Blue, who were 1/0 in their second innings at close of play, being in cruise control with a lead of 338.
India Red were in all kinds of trouble when the nervous overnight batsmen, Shikhar Dhawan and skipper Yuvraj Singh, were both dismissed. Singh cut Abhimanyu Mithun to Pujara in the slips, who nearly spilled it but did well to recover. With the India-New Zealand Tests 10 days away, Dhawan needed a big score, but a careless reverse sweep off Jadeja only took the ball as far as Mayank Agarwal at silly point.
Gurkeerat Singh (57) and Binny were solid at the crease and carefully went about building their innings. A 63-run stand did just that, but Jadeja bowled a gem, pitching on the middle and breaching the batsman's defence to clip the off-stump.
Amit Mishra (65) played some effortless shots to the fence while Binny went for the big hits, smashing four sixes. The India Red all-rounder was finally adjudged leg-before two short of his century as Jadeja attacked him on the leg stump. Mishra was joined by Kuldeep Yadav, and for the first time in the match, Gautam Gambhir looked a tad worried.
Karn Sharma came back to dismiss Mishra, but Yadav added a few more useful runs to get to his half-century. Sharma and Jadeja wrapped up the tail. In his only over before close of play, Nathu Singh troubled Mayank Agarwal outside the off-stump.
India Blue 693/6 (Cheteshwar Pujara 256 not out, Sheldon Jackson 134, Gautam Gambhir 94; Amit Mirsha 2/171) & 1/0, lead India Red 356 (Stuart Binny 98, Amit Mishra 65, Gurkeerat Singh 57; Ravindra Jadeja 5/98, Pankaj Singh 2/42) by 338 runs.