Ranji Trophy: Jharkhand takes first innings lead

Delhi, resuming at overnight score of 225 for three, lost seven wickets for 72 runs and was bowled out for 334 just after lunch. Following on, Delhi ended the third day at 165 for one.

Unmukt Chand Delhi Ranji Trophy

Unmukt Chand scored 109 in Delhi's first innings before taking it to relative safety in the second innings with a 63-run knock.   -  Special Arrangement

Jharkhand’s medium pacer Ashish Kumar executed his team’s well laid out plan to perfection. luring both Rishabh Pant and Unmukt Chand to their doom as Delhi collapsed dramatically to surrender the first innings lead in the Ranji Trophy Group ‘B’ match at the KCA-St.Xavier’s College ground here on Monday.

>SCORECARD

Delhi, resuming at overnight score of 225 for three, lost seven wickets for 72 runs and was bowled out for 334 just after lunch. Following on, Delhi put up a better display with the openers Unmukt Chand and Dhruv Shorey figuring in their first century partnership of the season to end the third day at 165 for one.

Delhi needed both Rishabh Pant and Unmukt Chand to continue in the same vein today to take the first innings lead. But both Rishabh and Unmukt Chand were frustrated by Jharkhand medium pacers especially Ashish Kumar who bowled deliveries wide off the off stump and denied scoring opportunities to both the free-stroking batsmen.

Rishabh showed remarkable restrain by leaving deliveries which weren’t in his range. But he finally ran out of patience and chased a wide ball to edge it to slips off Ashish to start the slide. Unmukt Chand, who completed a well composed century, soon left as his drive was snapped up brilliantly at mid-on by Vikash Singh off Ashish.

After Ashish’s burst, the Jharkhand spinners took over and ran through the innings in quick time. Moreover, the Delhi’s lower order batsmen showed poor application against the Jharkhand spinners. Sunny Gupta, who was batted out of the attack by Rishabh, ended the day on a profitable note taking three wickets while the experienced Shahbaz Nadeem took two wickets to polish off the tail.

Jharkhand enforced follow on but both Unmukt Chand and Dhruv Shorey played freely without any pressure. Unmukt played with ease and looked set for another century when he threw his wicket away with an ugly slog and was caught in the deep. Shorey and Nithin Rana, promoted ahead of the ill Vaibhav Rawal, completed their fifty run stand for the second wicket without much fuss.

Delhi coach Bhaskar Pillai said the loss of Rishabh Pant early in the day was the turning point of the match. "Full credit to Jharkhand bowlers who executed their plans brilliantly. I was banking on the two overnight batsmen to come good but their quick dismissal exposed our long tail," he said.

"We knew that we needed just two wickets to run through the Delhi side. Our aim was to frustrate both Rishabh and Unmukt Chand by bowling wide off the off stump. They ran out of patience and fell to our trap," said Jharkhand spinner Shahbaz Nadeem.