Baroda keeps Delhi in check; eyes first innings lead

Rakesh Rao
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CRICKET / The visitors will eye the first innings lead on the final day

IN GOOD TOUCH:Mohit Sharma scored an attractive 71 to steady the Delhi innings.— Photo: R.V. Moorthy
IN GOOD TOUCH:Mohit Sharma scored an attractive 71 to steady the Delhi innings.— Photo: R.V. Moorthy

Baroda looked more likely to take the first innings lead after keeping Delhi at 215 for three at the end of the penultimate day’s action in their Ranji Trophy league match here on Monday.

Delhi, looking to overhaul Baroda’s 561, will have to score 347 on Tuesday for the first innings lead worth three points. This looks highly improbable going by the scoring rate on each of the three days so far.

Chances are that Delhi would prefer to keep the wickets and play out the remaining three sessions.

If the first innings remains inconclusive the teams get a point each.

When Delhi batted, Baroda took a wicket in each session and did not allow any partnership to assume dangerous proportions. Skipper Shikhar Dhawan, lucky to be dropped at 15 by Abhimanyu Chauhan at mid-wicket, failed to make the most of the reprieve and fell for 30, thereby depriving Delhi of a sound start.

Unmukt Chand, who gave glimpses of the temperament needed for the longer formats of the game, looked good for his 51, studded with six boundaries. The youngster was bowled after left-arm spinner Bhargav Bhatt managed to beat his defensive bat.

Star of the day

The star of the day was young Mohit Sharma who carved out an impressive 71 in only his second innings in the championship.

The left-hander hit seven boundaries by playing pace and spin with comfort. He was patient and displayed good shot selection. Just when Mohit was inching closer to a well-deserved maiden century, Firdaus Bhaja trapped him leg-before less than half-an-hour from close of play.

At stumps, the seasoned Mithun Manhas, who added 78 runs with Mohit for the third wicket, was in the company of veteran Rajat Bhatia. On Tuesday, much depends on the duo if Delhi has to survive three sessions.

Earlier, Baroda batted for 53 minutes and collected 36 runs by trading three wickets for a tally of 561. Ketan Panchal and Gagandeep Singh could add just six runs to their overnight partnership of 126 before Parvinder Awana sent back both in quick succession.

Gagandeep, after scoring a career-high score of 76, offered a return catch to Awana. Nine runs later, Awana cleaned up Panchal for 80, also his highest in Ranji Trophy. The last-wicket pair added 21 runs before Pawan Suyal bowled Firdaus Bhaja, leaving Bhargav Bhatt unbeaten on 18, that included a six and two boundaries.

The scores:

Baroda — 1st innings: Saurabh Wakaskar c Awana b Narwal 22, Aditya Waghmode c Mohit b Bhatia 54, Abhimanyu Chauhan b Narwal 113, R. Solanki c Mohit b Bhatia 0, Ambati Rayudu b Awana 131, Kedar Devdhar c Suyal b Awana 27, Ketan Panchal b Awana 80, Murtuja Vohara b Bhatia 11, Gagandeep Singh c and b Awana 76, Bhargav Bhatt (not out) 18, Firdaush Bhaja b Suyal 4, Extras (b-12, lb-6, nb-6, w-1): 25; Total (in 178 overs): 561.

Fall of wickets: 1-46, 2-101, 3-109, 4-322, 5-343, 6-376, 7-399, 8-531, 9-540.

Delhi bowling: Nehra 6-1-17-0, Awana 37-8-104-4, Suyal 38-6-145-1, Dhawan 3-1-4-0, Narwal 32-8-84-2, Manan 31-4-130-0, Bhatia 19-7-35-3, Manhas 8-4-10-0, Mohit 4-0-14-0.

Delhi — 1st innings: Shikhar Dhawan c Waghmode b Vahora 30, Unmukt Chand b Bhatt 51, Mohit Sharma lbw b Bhaja 71, Mithun Manhas (batting) 41, Rajat Bhatia (batting) 10, Extras (b-7, lb-4, nb-1): 12; Total (for three wkts. in 69 overs): 215.

Fall of wickets: 1-38, 2-125 3-203.

Baroda bowling: Vohara 20-2-64-1, Gagandeep 10-0-40-0, Waghmode 2-0-2-0, Bhatt 16-2-30-1, Bhaja 13-1-42-1, Panchal 6-0-20-0, Chauhan 2-1-6-0.

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