Samad Fallah chalked up his 10th five-wicket haul in first-class cricket as Maharashtra dismissed Delhi for 193 on day two to gain a slender three-run lead. The play at Roshanara Club began two hours late due to wet outfield. Overnight batsmen Vaibhav Rawal and Mithun Manhas added 20 runs in seven overs in the 30-minute session before lunch. Rawal edged a ball from Fallah and it went to the boundarey through third slip. Manhas was dour and made six off 25 balls in the morning session.
Manhas hit a couple of cracking boundaries after lunch but was trapped lbw by Fallah. The ball skid on as Manhas tried to nudge the ball towards square leg playing across the line. He made 28 off 100 balls. The 27-year-old Fallah was in the midst of a probing spell as he swung the ball both ways and extracted bounce on few occasions. Rajat Bhatia was next to go as the ball bounced more than he anticipated and nipped away to take an outside edge of Bhatia’s bat.
Puneet Bisht gave some impetus to Delhi’s innings by clubbing the offspinner Chirag Khurana for a six over long on and followed it up with a straight boundary. But he didn’t last long as Anupam Sanklecha got the better of him by catching him in front of the wickets for 18.
Rawal was helding the one end firmly as wickets were tumbling at the other end. He showed immnese patience and grit to keep Maharashtra bowlers at bay for the better part of the day. he whipped Sanklecha to midwicket boundary to bring his half-century. It took him 134 balls and he blasted seven boundaries. Sumit Narwal lent fine support to Rawal and occupied crease for some time. Delhi were 158 for 6 at tea.
Nikit Dhumal castled Narwal for 14 to pick up his first first-class wicket. He snared Pradeep Sangwan in his next over off a beautiful leg-cutter which caressed an outside edge of Sanwan to the wicketkeeper. In a bid to score quickly, Rawal was caught at deep midwicket by Sanklecha off Dhumal. He scored 65 off 157 balls. Delhi were 182-9 as the last batsman Pawan Suyal came at the crease.
Delhi were 14 runs away to surpass Maharashtra’s first innings total of 196 as Suyal bludgeoned a massive six off Fallah over long and whacked the next ball to the long on boundary. But his over exuberance cost Delhi as in the same over he was caught at deep midwicket by Kedar Jadhav and Delhi conceded a three-run lead to Maharashtra.
Fallah and Dhumal were pick of the bowlers for Maharashtra as they snapped up five and three wickets respectively. Fallah, in particular, was very impressive as he bowled long spells with probing line and unflagging vim.
Maharashtra were 3 for no loss when the day was called. Harshad Khadiwale and Virat Awate were unbeaten on 3 and 0 respectively.