New Delhi: Dhruv Shorey’s fourth first-class century put Delhi firmly in sight of an outright victory against Himachal Pradesh in their opening round group B Ranji Trophy match in New Delhi on Wednesday.
Shorey scored his fourth first-class hundred — 106 not out off 177 balls as Delhi declared their second innings at 281 for 4, leaving HP with a stiff target of 376.
Earlier, Delhi dismissed HP for 223 in their first innings taking a first innings lead of 94 runs and also ensuring at least three points.
At stumps on the third day, Himachal were 44 for 1 with their best bet Prashant Chopra being dismissed by Ishant Sharma (1/14 in 5 overs).
With 332 needed on the final day, it will be more about how Himachal survive against left-arm spin duo of Vikas Mishra and Varun Sood on a fourth day track with considerable wear and tear.
Not to forget that Ishant will also bowl full tilt in short spells and is more dangerous on these kind of tracks. The other seamer Kulwant Khejroliya is expected to stem the flow of runs.
In the morning, after quickly disposing off the remaining two HP batsmen for an addition of seven runs, Delhi got off to a brisk start courtesy Gautam Gambhir (49, 52 balls) and Hiten Dalal (25, 32 balls), who added 64 in only 10.5 overs.
Opening bowlers Rishi Dhawan (0/37 in 10 overs) and Pankaj Jaiswal (0/33 in five overs) were hit for a flurry of boundaries.
Once Dalal and Gambhir were gone, Shorey and skipper Nitish Rana (32) added 62 for the third wicket.
Shorey, a surprise exclusion from India A’s tour to New Zealand, hit 10 boundaries and two sixes. The second six brought up his fourth first-class hundred as he keeps on maintaining a healthy 50 plus average.
He added 50 with Himmat Singh (26), who hit three sixes and 67 for the unbroken fifth wicket stand with wicketkeeper Anuj Rawat (21 no) as Delhi finished with an overall lead of 375.
Delhi 317 and 281/4 declared (Dhruv Shorey 106 no, Gautam Gambhir 49) Himachal Pradesh 223 and (target 376) 44/1 (Ishant Sharma 1/14 in 5 overs).
Bengal 510/9 declared. MP 254/5 (Naman Ojha 74, Ashok Dinda 2/42, Anustup Majumdar 2/20).
Andhra 254 and 102/8 (Jalaj Saxena 7/44). Kerala 1st Innings 328 (Jalaj Saxena 133).