Ayush Badoni compiled a stroke-filled unbeaten 78 (85b, 11x4, 2x6), after his captain Yash Dhull scored a brilliant half-century (72, 74b, 16x4), to keep Delhi hopes of taking the first innings lead alive against Hyderabad on the second day of the four-day Ranji Trophy Elite Group B match at Rajiv Gandhi Stadium here on Wednesday.
First, it was Yash Dhull who treated the Hyderabad bowlers with disdain, essaying some glorious cover drives and in the ‘V’ with a blend of arrogance and elegance.
When he was at the crease in the company of his opener Dhruv Shorey (30, 44b, 6x4), the bowling looked clueless even as the normally consistent pacer Kartikeya Kak, who was hit for fours in one over by Dhull, struggled and the debutant pacer Praneeth Raj looked ordinary, pitching short on off-stump repeatedly and was also warned for running on to the danger area by the umpires.
Just when it looked Delhi was in a hurry to go after the first objective of taking the lead, medium-pacer Ajay Dev Goud cleaned up Shorey with a change of pace and movement.
Then, the expensive left-arm spinner G. Aniketh Reddy got rid off Hrithik Shokeen (4), caught behind by Rahul Radesh to make it 96 for two in 19.1 overs.
Later, Dhull and Ayush Badoni joined hands to put on 39 runs in less than four overs before Aniketh seemed lucky to earn a caught-behind decision to send back the dangerous looking Dhull.
Then, a suicidal run-out by Vaibhav Rawal (20) in the 39th over opened the window of opportunity for Hyderabad and when Ajay Dev got rid off Himmat Singh (0), who misread the movement the first ball he faced as it came back sharply to rearrange the stumps, Delhi was in trouble at 192 for five.
However, a fighting 31-run stand between Badoni and an extremely uncomfortable Lalit Yadav ensured that there were no more setbacks for Delhi before stumps.
Earlier, K. Rohit Rayudu stood apart from the rest of the crowd with a classy unbeaten 153 (295b, 14x4, 3x6) to help Hyderabad post a far more respectable 355 in the first innings.