When Delhi needed it, Dhruv Shorey produced his third century of the season and brought the host within 160 runs of taking the first innings lead over Andhra on the third day of their Ranji Trophy league match at the Ferozeshah Kotla ground here.
The 30-year-old former captain batted all day on Thursday and was part of four half-century stands before walking out with an unconquered 142.
On a day when Hrithik Shokeen, Yash Dhull and Vaibhav Rawal tossed away good starts and left Shorey fighting a lone battle, Andhra bowlers were made to look ordinary. Clearly, Delhi’s batters have effectively ended Andhra’s hopes of an outright victory.
As a result, Andhra is desperate to capture the remaining six first innings wickets before Delhi reaches 460 to gain three points.
Shorey was the man who frustrated Andhra the most. The man who smashed an unbeaten 252 and 150 against Assam and hit two half-centuries against Tamil Nadu, once again proved Delhi’s mainstay. During this 261-ball innings so far, Shorey has hit a six and 12 boundaries.
On the brightest of the three days so far, Shorey and Shokeen resumed the innings at 19 for one and raised 89 for the second wicket. Shokeen fell to off-spinner Shoaib Mohammad Khan, when in sight of a well-deserved half century.
Skipper Dhull (29) became Khan’s second victim after adding 53 runs with Shorey for the third wicket. Once in-form Rawal joined Shorey, there was a touch of assurance in Delhi’s innings. Rawal was building the innings well but his run out for 25 ended the 68-run stand.
Since then, Himmat Singh and Shorey have added 90 runs, with the opener scoring at a brisk pace.
On Friday, the points of interest are race for the first innings lead and whether Shorey reaches a double-hundred.