Gritty effort: Ashok Menaria used all his experience in keeping Delhi at Bay with a timely century.  

Delhi presses for victory

Rajasthan finishes day three on 128 for two after being asked to follow-on


Rajasthan continued to battle and deny Delhi the joy of finishing its Ranji Trophy campaign with a win after an absorbing day’s play on Friday.

After being asked to follow-on, Rajasthan was 128 for two when stumps were drawn on the penultimate day. It still needs 197 runs to make Delhi bat again.

Earlier, resuming its first innings at 115 for four, Rajasthan folded at 299, with some resolute rearguard action from every batsman on view. Ashok Menaria used all his experience and scored 119. With the last three wickets adding 100 runs, Rajasthan showed it was not going to be easy for the host.

Host out of the race

Elsewhere, Bengal’s victory over Punjab at Patiala ended Delhi’s remote chance of qualifying for the quarterfinals.

The day belonged to Menaria and Mahipal Lomror, who took turns to steady Rajasthan’s tumbling innings.

Skipper Menaria’s second century of the competition and 11th in First Class cricket, reinforced his fine form this season. He was not troubled by the Delhi bowlers as he batted with certain authority during his 189-ball knock, dotted with 14 boundaries and three sixes.

When Rajasthan batted a second time, Lomror kept Delhi at bay with a positive intent. So far, he has hit a six and eight boundaries. Much depends on how he carries on when the action resumes on Saturday.

Among the bowlers, Simarjeet Singh continue to impress. The seamer finished with four wickets in the first innings and provided the breakthrough in the second. With the pitch assisting the spinners a bit more, Shivam Sharma and Shivank Vashisht could prove the difference.

The scores: Delhi — 1st innings: 623.

Rajasthan — 1st innings: Ramnivas Golada c Rawat b Simarjeet 8, Manender Singh b Vashisht 21, Mahipal Lomror c Shorey b Shivam 18, Yash Kothari lbw b Bidhuri 0, Ashok Menaria b Rana 119, Rajesh Bishnoi lbw b Bidhuri 24, Salman Khan c Himmat b Simarjeet Singh 23, Rahul Chahar c Rawat b Shivam 16, Tanveer-ul-Haq b Simarjeet 19, Rituraj Singh lbw b Simarjeet 16, Aniket Choudhary (not out) 19; Extras (b-8, lb-1, nb-7): 16, Total (in 80.2 overs) 299.

Fall of wickets: 1-18, 2-37, 3-38, 4-80, 5-129, 6-178, 7-199, 8-267, 9-299.

Delhi bowling: Simarjeet 15.2-2-46-4, Bidhuri 13-3-40-2, Shivam 20-3-83-2, Vashisht 27-3-89-1, Rana 5-0-32-0.

Rajasthan — 2nd innings: Manender Singh lbw b Simarjeet 4, Ramnivas Golada c Rawat b Shivam 28, Mahipal Lomror (batting) 64, Yash Kothari (retd. hurt) 16, Rituraj Singh (batting) 11; Extras (b-4, nb-1): 5; Total (for two wkts. in 39 overs): 128.

Fall of wickets: 1-4, 2-59.

Delhi bowling: Simarjeet 8-1-26-1, Bidhuri 2-0-7-0, Rana 4-0-7-0, Shivam 15-6-44-1, Vashisht 9-1-37-1, Himmat 1-0-3-0.