It was minor blip from Unmukt Chand, but it was enough to cost Delhi a point in their Ranji Trophy opener against Saurashtra on Wednesday. Needing 16 to win against Saurashtra at the Roshanara ground, Chand was castled by an Abhishek Bhat delivery, which surprised him from the good length. With it, Delhi lost the chance to secure a bonus point beside the six they pocketed after Gautam Gambhir and Varun Sood sealed the issue in 5.3 overs.
Earlier, a combined effort from the Delhi pacers put the hosts in a commanding position. They dismissed the second Saurashtra innings for 240 in 90.3 overs, meaning Delhi batsmen will have to break little sweat to begin the Ranji campaign with a win.
Known for his ability at providing breakthroughs when needed, Sumit Narwal once again stepped up to the plate and gave Dellhi the headstart on the final day’s morning. After adding 11 to their overnight score of 162/4, Saurashtra lost in-form batsman Divyaraj Chouhan to a Narwal signature delivery that kept him guessing and shattered his timber. Six overs later, Narwal wrote a similar script for Sheldon Jackson (51), who was looking to put up a fight for his side but could only see Saurashtra to 193/6. Narwal had now collected three wickets in the second innings and more importantly did what skipper Gambhir was expecting from him.
Till then, the visitors were trying to score quick and score big and invite the home team to bat a second time. With Jackson’s dismissal Saurashtra’s sole aim was to avoid an innings defeat and concede seven points.
Navdeep Saini, who picked up one wicket on Tuesday, was bowling with pace and disturbed the batters with his rhythm. He picked up the eighth and the ninth Saurashtra wickets in the space of five overs to finish with three and ensured the tail does not make Delhi uncomfortable.
Brief scores: Delhi 442 & 16/1 bt Saurashtra 217 & 240 in 90.3 overs (S Jackson 51; N Saini 3/27, S Narwal 3/41) by 9 wickets. Points: Delhi 6, Saurashtra 0.