On a day in which 12 wickets fell, Madhya Pradesh continued to hold the edge against Delhi after taking the crucial first-innings lead on the third day of the Take Sports All India Buchi Babu tournament final at the Sri Ramakrishna College ground here on Sunday.
Pacers Ramveer Gurjar (4/43) and Kulwant Khejroliya (3/38) led the way for MP to help restrict Delhi to just 201 in the first innings and secure their side a healthy 169-run lead. However, MP made a mess of things in its second innings as the top-order collapsed to finish the day on 129 for six, with a lead of 298.
Earlier, the two MP left-arm pacers operated with pace and accuracy to bowl out Delhi at the stroke of lunch by taking the last six wickets for just 67 runs.
Khejroliya kicked things off for MP when he had overnight batter Lakshay Thareja caught at slip before Aryan Deshmukh had Hrithik Shokeen caught behind.
With the second new ball, Gurjar removed Sumit Mathur with a peach of a delivery that squared up the left-hander to clip the off-stump and then had Siddhant Sharma caught at first slip.
Only Shivank Vashisht provided a semblance of a fight for Delhi as he made a valiant 83 before he got run out tamely. The batter took it easy while trying to complete a third run and failed to ground his bat in time as he tried to duck for the throw coming in from the deep.
Vashisht (4/35) returned strongly with an impressive bowling performance, taking four wickets. The left-arm spinner used his variations well, getting Aniket Verma and Rishabh Chouhan nicking behind while he bowled MP skipper Shubham Sharma with a delivery that came in with the arm to give his side some hope.
If Delhi can restrict MP’s lead to less than 350, it will fancy its chances of going for the target, having nothing to lose.
The scores: Madhya Pradesh 370 & 129/6 in 53 overs (Shivank Vashisht 4/35) vs Delhi 201 in 89.4 overs (Shivank Vashisht 83, Ramveer Gurjar 4/43).
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