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Ranji Trophy: Nitish Rana’s blazing hundred scripts defining win for Delhi

Nitish Rana's unbeaten 105 came off just 68 balls which included eight sparkling fours and seven humungous sixes.

Nitish Rana’s unbeaten 105 came off just 68 balls. (Source: BCCI)

Nitish Rana scored a whirlwind 105 not out of 68 balls to help Delhi chase down a target of 347 against Vidharbha on the last day of the sixth round of the Ranji Trophy at the Feroz Shah Kotla on Thursday.

With this memorable run-chase on Day 4, Delhi beat reigning champions Vidarbha by six wickets and handed their first outright defeat in a first-class game after three years.

Rana’s unbeaten 105 came at a strike rate of 154.41 which included eight sparkling fours and seven humungous sixes.

The foundation of the incredible chase was laid by openers Kunal Chandela and Hiten Dalal. Dhruv Shorey also played a good supporting hand before Rana played a blazing knock.

Rana was quick to get off the mark and brought up his fifty in just 26 balls. However, he never allowed the tempo to go down and kept counter-attacking the Vidharbha bowlers. He was particularly lethal against off-spinner Akshay Wakhare (64 off 9 overs) with slog sweeps, cuts, and drives.

Speaking to reporters after the match, Rana said: “I knew I can hit their spinners out of the ground.”

“I knew they would bowl a negative line but what I didn’t like was time-wasting tactic. Once they started bowling within the stumps, I knew I will blast them if it”s in my arc.”

“This is my natural game and I don’t like advise if people come and tell me to change my mindset. I only welcome advise when I need them,” he said.

Vidarbha also had their chances but failed to latch on to them and paid the ultimate price as Delhi chase down the total in 73 overs. Delhi now have 16 points and stays in the hunt for a quarterfinal berth while Vidarbha stays put on 17 points.

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