A file photo of Rishabh Pant. (Getty Images)
Mumbai: Diminutive Delhi stumper Rishabh Pant slammed a brilliant triple hundred but it went in vain as Maharashtra took the all-important first innings lead in the Ranji Trophy Group B match that ended in a draw on Sunday.
Pant compiled 308 off only 326 balls laced with as many as 9 sixes and 42 fours and brought Delhi very close to Maharashtra's huge first innings score of 635 for 2 declared.
However, he fell in trying to hit a 10th six, one ball after he had lofted left-arm spinner Satyajeet Bachhav over the rope, when Delhi were 58 runs behind Maharashtra's first innings total.
The dismissal of Pant, who had kept wickets over the first two days and then came down to bat at No.5 when Delhi were 135 for 3, ended his team's hopes as Maharashtra polished off the remaining three wickets for 13 runs to terminate the northern team's first innings at 590 for a lead of 45.
In the remaining time, Maharashtra made 58 without loss before the game was called off by mutual consent.
This morning when Delhi resumed at the overnight 376 for 5 with Pant on 155, the team's main hopes rested on the pint-sized left-handed Pant. And he kept Maharashtra on tenterhooks by hitting an array of fours and sixes while adding 182 runs in just 191 minutes with Varun Sood who went on to remain unconquered on 32 after a stay of 228 minutes.
Delhi were 493 for 6 at lunch with Pant having reached 250 and then he became the third youngest batsman behind Wasim Jaffer of Mumbai and Abhinav Mukund of Tamil Nadu to reach the landmark of 300 with a single in 320 balls and 503 minutes.
The wicketkeeper-batsman had struck 14 fours and a six to race from 200 to 300 at better than run a ball on a perfect track.
Maharashtra, worried till then, were overjoyed when Pant, after heaving Bachhav to long off by leaving his crease, tried to repeat the shot, missed connecting and was stumped. He had hit the spinner for five sixes.
Maharashtra secured three points.
Scores: Maharashtra 635 for 2 decl. and 58 for no loss (H Khadiwale not out 38, C Khurana not out 19). Delhi: 590 (D Shorey 71, N Rana 44, R Pant 308, Milind Kumar 45, V Sood not out 32; M Sayyed 3 for 121, C Khurana 3 for 143).
Karnataka vs Jharkhand match ends in draw
Karnataka did not impose a follow-on against Jharkhand despite taking a huge first innings lead as their match ended in a predictable draw.
Riding on Ishan Kishan's brilliant unbeaten 159, Jharkhand were all out for 374 in their first innings in the morning session in reply to Karnataka's 577 for 6 declared.
But surprisingly, Karnataka did not force a follow-on despite taking a 203-run first innings lead at the Greater Noida Sports Complex Ground.
Karnataka batted for the second time and they were 162 for 3 in 53.4 overs on the fourth and final day and predictably the match ended in a draw.
Karun Nair and Kunain Abbas remained not out 54 and 51 respectively as the two teams decided to call off the match.
Nair's 54 not out came from 86 balls and was studded with six boundaries while Abbas faced 97 deliveries for his 51 not out and hit eight fours and one six.
For Jharkhand, Samar Quadri took three wickets for 62 runs.
Earlier, Jharkhand added 65 runs today after resuming at 309 for 6. Overnight centurion Ishan Kishan added 42 runs to remain not out on 159. He hit 16 fours and seven sixes while facing 211 balls.
Karnataka collected three points for taking the first innings lead while Jharkhand got one.
Brief Scores: Karnataka: 577/6 declared & 162/3 in 53.4 overs (Karun Nair 54 not out; Kunain Abbas 51 not out) Jharkhand: 374 all out in 115.1 overs (Ishan Kishan 159 not out; Krishnappa Gowtham 3/97, Shreyas Gopal 3/114).