Ranji Trophy: Delhi inches closer to first innings lead

After wiping out Uttar Pradesh’s tail in the morning, with Ishant Sharma and Navdeep Amarjeet Saini ending up with three wickets apiece in restricting the team to 291, Delhi responded with 228 for six at close on the second day.

Delhi's opener Gautam Gambhir hit a fluent 86 off 122 balls at the Palam ground on Thursday.   -  Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

Driven by defiant knocks from Gautam Gambhir and Dhruv Shorey, Delhi was inching towards the first innings lead against Uttar Pradesh in the Ranji Trophy cricket league match at the Palam ground on Thursday.

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After wiping out Uttar Pradesh’s tail in the morning, with Ishant Sharma and Navdeep Amarjeet Saini ending up with three wickets apiece in restricting the team to 291, Delhi responded with 228 for six at close on the second day.

READ: Day 1 report

After opener Gautam Gambhir had hit a stroke-filled 86 off 122 balls with 13 fours, and Rishabh Pant had come up with a cameo of 30, with three fours and two sixes off 23 balls, it was Dhruv Shorey who showed a lot of character to slug it out with a patient unbeaten 65. In his 163-ball vigil, Dhruv hit seven fours.

LIVE BLOG: Ranji Trophy - Round 4, Day 2

After looking good for a century and more, Gambhir perished, trying to cut Saurabh and smartly being caught by the wicketkeeper.

With the light fading in the evening, Delhi could only bat for 75 overs and the match was wide open with two more days to go, even though the
initial focus may be on wresting the first innings lead, for both the teams.

Uttar Pradesh was well served by the left-arm spin of Saurabh Kumar who bagged three wickets including that of both the openers Unmukt Chand and Gautam Gambhir. Skipper Suresh Raina was efficient in marshalling his limited bowling resources.

Wicketkeeper Upendra Yadav, who remained unbeaten on 67 for Uttar Pradesh, was sharp and effective behind the stumps as he took four
catches off four different bowlers.

Ankit Rajpoot, Israr Azim and Imtiaz Ahmed took a wicket each to stop Delhi from running away to a big total.

Pulkit Narang, who took a hit on his right shoulder while misreading a delivery and had faced the ignominy of being appealed for a vehement lbw, gave company for Dhruv with four runs off 41 balls.