Ranji Trophy: Bowlers clear Delhi’s passage to quarterfinals

Delhi’s victory — worth seven points including a bonus — not only shut the door on Maharashtra, but also took Hyderabad out of the qualifying race.

Delhi skipper Ishant Sharma celebrates the wicket of Ankit Bawne in the Ranji Trophy match against Maharashtra at the Palam Airforce Ground in New Delhi on Sunday.   -  R.V. MOORTHY

 

The famed Maharashtra batting came a cropper for the second time in as many days and let Delhi cruise to an unexpected innings and 61-run victory with a day for a place in the last-eight stage of Ranji Trophy here on Sunday.

As a result, Delhi’s tally rose to 24 points and ended its three-year wait to advance to the quarterfinals. Karnataka, the other qualifier, seems set to top Group ‘A’.

Delhi’s victory — worth seven points including a bonus — not only shut the door on Maharashtra, but also took Hyderabad out of the qualifying race.

Scorecard

Hyderabad (nine points) was eyeing seven points against Assam and then hoping to get the better of Delhi in their last league match at home.

But Delhi’s third victory crushed Hyderabad’s hopes of claiming the second qualifying spot from the group.

On the third day, Maharasthra innings resumed at 59 for eight and lasted 10 overs before ending at 99. Armed with a lead of 320 runs, Delhi enforced follow-on. Maharasthra once again struggled for the better part of the day to be bowled out at 259.

For the second time in less than a day, Ishant Sharma provided the breakthrough by sending back opener Murtaza Trunkwala. If the first three wickets fell for 56 runs, the last six tumbled in the space of 43 runs.

Ranji Trophy: Patidar 81* puts MP in command

In the intervening period, Maharashtra enjoyed its most productive phase with Rahul Tripathy launching a gutsy counter-attack that only delayed the inevitable. The right-hander’s fifth first-class century-knock came off just 67 deliveries but ended at 106. The enterprising 78-ball knock included four sixes and 12 boundaries.

Tripathy was the main reason Delhi had to wait until the final session to come out as a winner. Tripathy added 68 runs for the fourth wicket with a circumspect skipper Ankit Bawane (18) and another 92 for the fifth wicket with wicketkeeper-batsman Rohit Motwani (39).

Tripathy displayed an array of strokes and frustrated Delhi in the second session. Eventually, Tripathy was declared leg-before to left-arm spinner Vikas Mishra who finished with four wickets, much like medium pacer Navdeep Saini. This triggered off a lower-order collapse and the teams were not required to come out on the fourth morning.