Ranji Trophy: Rishabh’s century keeps Delhi in hunt

Rishabh Pant’s whirlwind knock (107 batting) came off 84 balls including eight sixes and seven boundaries as Delhi fought its way back in the Ranji Trophy Group ‘B’ match against Jharkhand at the KCA-St.Xavier’s College ground here on Sunday.

Rishabh Pant on his way to century against Jharkhand on the second day of Ranji Trophy match.   -  Praveen Chandran

After watching Ishan Kishan (273) flay the bowlers from behind the wicket, Delhi’s wicket keeper batsman Rishabh Pant (107 batting) launched a fierce assault on Jharkhand bowlers late on the second day as Delhi fought its way back in the Ranji Trophy Group ‘B’ match at the KCA-St.Xavier’s College ground here on Sunday.

Rishabh Pant’s whirlwind knock (107 batting) came off 84 balls including eight sixes and seven boundaries. The brutal assault disseminated the steady Jharkhand attack which had done well to reduce Delhi to 74 for three.

>Scorecard:

Rishabh added 151 runs for the fourth wicket in quick time with captain Unmukt Chand (89 batting) to take the match by scurf of its neck. At the end of the second day’s play, Delhi in reply to Jharkhand’s first innings score of 493 managed with 225 for three.

On a featherbed wicket, Rishabh started off by nonchalantly flicking medium pacer Ashish Kumar over fine leg for a six and raced to his century overtaking Unmukt Chand who was batting on 45 at Rishabh's arrival.

Rishabh tonked off spinner Sunny Gupta over long on fence to complete his century in style. Chand played an innings of substance when it mattered. After an uncertain start, he settled down to play a few pleasing drives against medium pacers and held the innings together.

In the first session, it was Ishan Kishan show all the way. The left hander after surviving once, early chanced his arm to race to double century. Delhi picked up two quick wickets early but Ishan added 85 runs for the ninth wicket with Vikash Singh.

Apart from playing the conventional shots, Ishan paddle swept medium pacers for boundaries and reverse swept spinners to become the highest scorer for Jharkhand in Ranji Trophy. The youngster also equaled the record for highest number of sixes (14) in Ranji Trophy.

"The wicket was easy to bat on. I backed myself to play my natural game. It came off well today. We need to bat longer to take the first innings lead tomorrow," said Rishabh Pant.

Delhi captain, Chand said he was happy with the way he batted and praised Rishabh for his knock. "We are still in the game. But we need to continue this good work tomorrow morning. Rishabh batted superbly that is his natural style. I hope he will continue doing so for us to take the crucial first innings lead,".