Sunday proved to be an off-day for Punjab and a productive one for Delhi.
The visiting team snatched a slender but significant 26-run first innings lead and then reduced the host to 44 for four before dark clouds forced a premature end to third day’s play of the Ranji Trophy match at the PCA Stadium here.
Punjab, just 18 ahead with six wickets in hand, is sure to pray for more intervention from the weather on Monday, when the forecast is for rain after 11 am.
In any case, this depleted Delhi side will either get three points for first-innings lead in a drawn encounter or force an outright win, worth a minimum of six points.
READ | Karun Nair: Beating Mumbai in Mumbai, no better feeling than that
Resuming at 266 for four, Delhi surpassed Punjab’s 313 with three wickets in hand. Nitish Rana (92, 12x4), like skipper Dhruv Shorey on Saturday, missed a well-deserved century but contributions from Jonty Sidhu (41, 7x4) and Lalit Yadav (39, 6x4) ensured Delhi delivered a psychological blow to Punjab.
Rana paid the price for playing away from his body and the resultant inside-edge was taken by wicket-keeper. Sidhu, after looking good for a big knock, was foxed by Arshdeep. At this stage, Delhi was trailing by 39 runs with four wickets in hand.
Yadav and Kunwar Bidhuri soothed Delhi’s nerves by adding 31 runs before the latter was caught at lone slip. Soon, Delhi overhauled Punjab’s tally when Yadav sent the ball past the point-boundary.
Eventually, the 26-run lead was handy for Delhi but the fall of early wickets made it look more than a handful for Punjab.
ALSO READ | Ranji Trophy 2019-20: Services thrashes Maharasthra by innings and 94 runs
Like in the first innings, Shubman Gill was caught behind but looked clearly unhappy. Fortunately, he did not confront the umpire, Mohammad Rafi, like he did on Friday though he had a word with the Delhi fielders before leaving the ground. Replays confirmed Gill edged the ball.
Sanvir Singh, the other opener, failed again with keeper Anuj Rawat completing the catch.
The flamboyant Gurkeerat Mann holed out at long-off and Anmolpreet Singh was bowled off the fifth delivery he faced. Now in-form skipper Mandeep Singh, a couple of reliable batsmen and weather stand between Delhi and a possible win on Monday.
Latest on Sportstar
- French Open: Sabalenka, Djokovic hoping to steer clear of controversy
- ENG vs IRE Test, day 1: England takes control against Ireland as Broad stars with ball
- ‘I will continue’: Ronaldo says he’ll stay in Saudi
- India wins Junior Asia Cup, beats Pakistan 2-1
- Champions League final referee under UEFA scrutiny for links to far-right leader in Poland