Vidarbha attained the twin-objective of gaining the first-innings lead and finishing the day without losing a wicket on the second day of its Ranji Trophy match against Delhi at the Feroz Shah Kotla ground here on Monday.
In response to Vidarbha’s 179, Delhi resumed the day at 41 for four and fought all the way to reach 163.
Armed by a 16-run first innings lead, Vidarbha ended the day at 35 for no loss in 10 overs. Bad light forced play to be suspended an over after tea.
With an outright result possible in the remaining two days, the slender first-innings lead gave Vidarbha a psychological edge before commencing its second innings.
Now the visiting team is 51 runs ahead with all its wickets intact. In an unexpected blow to the host, Ishant Sharma had to leave the field owing to an injury sustained during his third over.
Vidarbha owes it to 21-year-old medium pacer Aditya Thakare. Playing only his seventh match - first in over a year - Thakare claimed three more wickets to finish with a career-best first-class haul of seven for 55. He also took two catches to have a hand in nine dismissals in Delhi’s innings.
Delhi waited for partnerships to prosper but they never flourished. Wickets fell at regular intervals and Vidarbha always looked like being ahead on first innings.
Overnight not-outs Nitish Rana and Lalit Yadav did not last long. Anuj Rawat stitched brief partnerships with Kunwar Bidhuri, Ishant Sharma and Simarjeet Singh to take Delhi from 64 for six to 154 for nine. In fact, the last four Delhi wickets contributed 99 runs.
At one stage, Vidarbha was looking to gain a sizeable lead but eventually appeared relieved at having denied Delhi the first-innings lead.
In its second innings, Vidarbha openers skipper Faiz Fazal and S. R. Ramaswamy hit seven boundaries in 10 overs to make their intentions clear.
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