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Double trouble for Delhi

Despite his brisk century,Niraj Patel was constantly ribbed by his teammates about his customary slowness with the bat

Despite his brisk century on Thursday,Niraj Patel was constantly ribbed by his teammates about his customary slowness with the bat,until minutes before he made his way to the crease. Over the next few hours,though,Niraj played a knock that maintained pin drop silence in his dressing room,as the 30-year old answered all his critics with an unbeaten innings of 228 on Friday.

Niraj’s effort with the bat was matched only by Vikas Mishra’s seven-wicket haul with the ball. Delhi found themselves on 118/3 in 35 overs. With 252 more runs to save follow-on,Delhi opener Unmukt Chand will have to repeat his feat (71 not out) and more over the weekend at the Sardar Patel Stadium,if the visitors stand a chance of salvaging anything from this game.

Niraj,who started 11-11-11 on 111,reached his maiden double century,while the other overnight batsman Salil Yadav also registered his highest score of 71. Niraj was severe on Pradeep Sangwan,cutting and pulling him with disdain. He also negated Mishra with a brilliant sweep that rallied along the ground and through the gaps.

The seventh-wicket partnership was finally broken after a 174-run stand in the 44th over of the day when Yadav was out leg before to Sangwan.

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Mishra scalped the next one a run later as Gujarat found themselves at 483/8,with Niraj still a few short of a double century. But he wasn’t to be denied,consuming the strike to take his personal score from 191 to 228 and the Gujarat total to 520.

Against a Gujarat bowling battery that has a Malinga clone and a Kumble clone,Chand started on a counter-attacking mode with an innings of compulsive strokemaking that made him look stylish and authoritative. Chand reached his half-century from just 57 balls with seven boundaries but the others around him fell while trying to do the same.

Brief scores: Delhi 118/3 (U Chand batting 71) vs Gujarat 520 (N Patel 228 n.o.,Parthiv 100; Vikas Mishra 7/116)

First published on: 12-11-2011 at 02:38:19 am
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