Delhi enjoyed another highly fruitful day at the placid pitch of the Ferozeshah Kotla ground.
Mohit Sharma, 20, playing only his third Ranji Trophy match, and debutant Vaibhav Rawal slammed centuries to enable Delhi to declare at 555 for four.
And, Parvinder Awana sent back the dangerous Abhinav Mukund to leave Tamil Nadu worried at the halfway stage of the Ranji Trophy league match here.
The declaration was timed in such a way that Tamil Nadu had the unenviable task of batting for over 30 minutes under fast fading light. Without a run on the board, Mukund edged Awana to Shikhar Dhawan, who completed the catch in his second attempt in the slip cordon. Arun Karthik and Baba Aparajith saw the team through to 31 without further damage.
In the morning, Tamil Nadu enjoyed two quick successes. Overnight centurion Unmukt Chand added just four runs to reach 138 and offered a regulation catch to the wicketkeeper. Manhas was bowled after misreading an in-swinger from Balaji.
What followed for the next 260 minutes firmly pushed Tamil Nadu on the defensive. The left-handed duo of Sharma and Rawal raised 221 runs.
Sharma went on to score a 175 (28x4, 1x6). When Delhi was looking for quick runs in the post-tea session, Sharma hit three pleasing fours in an over off Balaji, who chose negative tactics to foil Delhi’s designs. After hitting Balaji past fine-leg and long off, came the stroke of the day. Sharma stepped back to smash the next ball from outside the leg-stump to the cover boundary. Looking to force the pace, he fell to Balaji soon thereafter.
Rawal, 21, proved his worth by playing mostly in the ‘V’ in the early part of the innings before hitting 12 boundaries on way to a well-deserved century.
He not only showed his penchant to hit through midwicket but also drove straight and to long-off for boundaries.
Delhi — 1st innings: Unmukt Chand c Karthik b Yomahesh 138, Shikhar Dhawan b Srinivas 104, Mohit Sharma b Balaji 175, Mithun Manhas b Balaji 0, Vaibhav Rawal (not out) 100, Rajat Bhatia (not out) 14, Extras (b-6, lb-11, w-7) 24; Total (for four wickets decl. in 155 overs) 555.
Fall of wickets: 1-205, 2-293, 3-305, 4-526.
Tamil Nadu bowling: Balaji 24-6-88-2, Kaushik 27-8-77-0, Yomahesh 26-5-80-1, Rangarajan 35-3-121-0, Srinivas 30-2-116-1, Prasanna 7-2-23-0, Aparajith 3-0-12-0, Mukund 1-0-9-0, Badrinath 2-0-12-0.
Tamil Nadu — 1st innings: Abhinav Mukund c Dhawan b Awana 0, Arun Karthik (batting) 6, Baba Aparajith (batting) 25, Total (for one wicket in nine overs) 31.
Fall of wicket: 1-0.
Delhi bowling: Awana 4-1-11-1, Suyal 3-0-19-0, Mishra 1-1-0-0, Manhas 1-0-1-0.
Keywords: Ranji Trophy