The ground conceded by the bowlers to Madhya Pradesh in the first session was regained to a large extent by top-order batsmen Dhruv Shorey and Kunal Chandela as Delhi looked to seize the first-innings lead after two days of action in their Ranji Trophy quarterfinals here on Friday.
After MP resumed the day at 223 for six and reached 338 – with Harpreet Singh (107 not out) scoring his second century of the season – Delhi ended the day at 180 for two.
If Delhi finds itself only 158 runs behind, with eight wickets in hand, it is mainly due to the 145-run second-wicket stand between Shorey and Chandela. After opener Gautam Gambhir was bowled off the third delivery of the innings, the young duo took charge and placed Delhi in a position of comfort.
MATCH REPORT: Day 1
Shorey smashed 10 boundaries in a display of fine stroke-making on a pitch that played true. The right-hander showed his positive intent without getting affected by the early exit of Gambhir. However, Shorey was unlucky to miss a well-deserved century.
Shorey, looking to add to his collection of boundaries, fell for 78 after Rajat Patidar caught the ball while taking an evasive action. Chandela, who played the spinners better, picked up steam after a steady start and hit five boundaries besides two sixes. Keeping Chandela’s company was in-form Nitish Rana.
Earlier, MP found itself in the cruise mode after the second new ball did not give Delhi the desired result. Punching the firm new ball into the gaps, Harpreet Singh hit 15 boundaries. He was part of two successive 50-plus partnerships that placed MP in a far better position than it was at the fall of the fifth wicket.
Ranji Trophy Day Two round-up
Harpreet, a mature stroke-maker who seems to have mastered the art of scoring runs in the company of tailenders this season, was instrumental in MP reaching close to 350. He raised 73 runs with Puneet Date for the seventh wicket and another 68 for the eighth wicket with Mihir Hirwani. Left-arm spinner Manan Sharma polished off the tail by taking the last three wickets in the space of 11 deliveries.
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