Left-handed batsman Mahipal K Lomror scored a superb century to keep India Red in the hunt for the first innings lead, reaching 404 for 9 on the third day of the Duleep Trophy match against India Green in Bengaluru on Saturday.
The 19-year-old from Rajasthan compiled 126 runs off 272 balls, studded with 14 fours and three sixes to top-score for his team at the Alur stadium.
Overnight batsman Karun Nair scored 90 off 154 balls with the help of 16 fours, while tail-ender Avesh Khan hit a unbeaten quickfire 34 off 18 balls laced with five sixes to take the team close to India Green’s first innings score of 440.
Avesh Khan and S Sandeep Warrier (2) were at the crease when the stumps were drawn.
Resuming at an overnight score of 140/2, Nair fell after adding 13 more runs to his 77. He was bowled by Ankit Rajpoot, out in the nineties for a second time in two matches.
Abhimanyu Easwaran, who resumed after retiring hurt on the opening day on 3, helped Lomror push the score past the 200-mark before being caught by substitute Akshdeep Nath off leg-spinner Rahul Chahar.
Abhimanyu scored 22 off 66 balls with the help of four boundaries.
Wicketkeeper KS Bharat then joined Lomror and forged a 65-run stand for the fifth wicket.
Lomror, who played second-fiddle to Nair initially, came into his own on Saturday and played some fluent shots.
Though Bharat fell to left-arm paceman Tanvir ul-Haq for 38 (65 balls, 6 fours), Lomror kept the team in contention, reaching his century in 209 balls.
However, Lomror was dismissed by Saurashtra left-arm spinner Dharmendrasinh Jadeja for 126 with India Red still 77 runs behind with three wickets in hand.
After a defiant 30 by Jaydev Undakat, Avesh Khan provided the fireworks and kept alive India Red’s challenge in the company of Sandeep Warrier.
For India Green, Jadeja was the best bowler, picking up four wickets including those of skipper Priyank Panchal (31) and Lomror.
Rajpoot and Haq got two wickets each.
India Green: 440 all out in 131.3 overs (Akshath Reddy 146, Siddhesh Lad 64, Dharmendrasinh Jadeja 37, Priyam Garg 53, Dhruv Shorey 44; Akshay Wakhare 5/103, Avesh Khan 2/63, Sandeep Warrier 2/74) vs India Red: 404/9 in 135 overs (Mahipal Lomror 126, Karun Nair 90, K S Bharat 38, Avesh Khan 34 not out, Priyank Panchal 31; Dharmendrasinh Jadeja 4/125, Ankit Rajpoot 2/67, T Haq 2/19).