April 27, 2003

Sehwag's failure puts Delhi on the backfoot

Staff Reporter

Tamil Nadu hold a slight advantage going into the third day of their five-day Ranji Trophy Elite Group semi-final against hosts Delhi at the Feroz Shah Kotla. The visitors, who made 327 in their first innings, had reduced Delhi to 127 for 4 when play ended on Saturday.

Tamil Nadu, who resumed the second day on 252/ 5, added a further 75 runs before being dismissed a short while after lunch. Overnight not out batsmen, Hemang Badani (63, 9X4) and Vasanth Saravanan (39) put on 55 runs for the sixth wicket before being separated (299 for 6).

The lower-order batsmen, who followed, though, could not make similar headway against the Delhi bowlers and the final four wickets fell for the addition of just 28 runs. For Delhi, medium-pacer Amit Bhandari and left-arm spinner Rahul Sanghvi claimed three wickets each.

The Delhi reply got off to a decent start with openers Akash Chopra (30) and Gautam Gambhir (31) putting on 58 runs for the first wicket. But the dismissal of Virender Sehwag, castled by medium-pacer MR Shrinivas for a duck, saw Tamil Nadu fighting their way back into the game. At stumps on the second day, Mithun Manhas (20*) and skipper Vijay Dahiya (19*) were holding fort with the hosts needing another 201 runs to earn the all-important first-innings lead.