Baroda continue to pile on the runs
Baroda 525 for 7 (Rayudu 131*, Chauhan 113, Panchal 72*) v Delhi
Baroda, led by centuries from captain Ambati Rayudu and Abhimanyu Chauhan, continued to pile on the runs against a listless Delhi attack, reaching 525 for seven at stumps on the second day. There were no signs of declaration and it now seems a foregone conclusion that the visitors will be playing for three points on a track that is getting slower. Baroda will back themselves, given Delhi's inconsistent batting over the last two games.
Rayudu and Chauhan laid the foundation for a big score, and were backed by important contributions from the lower middle-order batsmen. Gagandeep Singh entertained the small Sunday crowd with some big hits while Ketan Panchal also batted sensibly, putting on 126 runs for the eighth wicket. Together, Gagandeep and Panchal hit half a dozen sixes and 14 fours.
The eighth-wicket partnership further hurt the Delhi bowlers, who had been deflated by the benign Feroz Shah Kotla surface. Rayudu has been a consistent performer in domestic cricket and he notched up his 13th first-class century. Chauhan, who put on a 213-run stand with Rayudu, batted in a manner reminiscent of Wasim Jaffer, with his confident on-side strokeplay, and reached his second successive century this season.
For Delhi, it was a pity that seamer Parvinder Awana, who worked up brisk pace and used variations effectively, picked up only two wickets in 32 overs. The delivery with which he dismissed Rayudu was a beauty. It pitched on the leg and middle line and completely squared up the batsman, who lost his middle stump.
Rajat Bhatia was economical but his wicket-to-wicket bowling yielded just one wicket on the second day. Pawan Suyal strived for extra pace, and was targeted by Rayudu.
Manan Sharma's performance left much to be desired. His left-arm spin was taken on by Gagandeep and Panchal, who gave him the charge repeatedly. The ball was keeping low and one expected him to use the arm ball, but it seemed he didn't.
Baroda have a sizeable score and they could go on for more, but Delhi, too, have batsmen who can bat big and bat long. Shikhar Dhawan and Mithun Manhas are among them.