Gujarat v Delhi, Ranji Trophy, Group A, Surat, 4th day November 10, 2013

Delhi settle for draw after Sehwag flutter


Gujarat 320 (Rao 107, Narwal 6-71) and 231 (Parthiv 56, Mishra 4-83) drew with Delhi 295 (Manhas 104, Akshar 6-55) and 100 for 3 (Gambhir 44)

Virender Sehwag failed for the second time in Surat after briefly promising a serious attempt to chase down the target of 257 runs in less than two sessions on the final day of the Group A game against Gujarat. Sehwag managed 15 off 18 deliveries and, with his dismissal, Delhi switched to a safety-first approach and played out for the draw. Gujarat took three points for the first-innings lead, while Delhi had to settle for one.

Sehwag didn't open the innings, but he was soon in the middle after Unmukt Chand was brilliantly run out from a direct hit by Jesal Karia at point in the first over of Delhi's second innings. Then, in the first five balls Sehwag faced, he was dropped at midwicket, flicked one to the boundary, played and missed two and defended one, declaring his intentions of leading the chase. Gambhir, at the other end, was also looking to force the pace, but was given a life as Parthiv Patel missed an easy stumping chance. Sehwag also survived a run-out chance soon after, the third umpire ruling that he had made it back in the crease. All that action in the first four overs of Delhi's innings.

Parthiv responded with five fielders in the deep, knowing he had plenty of time. Gujarat didn't have to wait for long, though. In the seventh over of the innings, Akshar Patel appealed for an lbw against Sehwag, who thought the ball had rolled away towards fine leg and left the crease thinking of a single. However, Parthiv had collected the ball with his left hand and flicked the bails off, leaving Sehwag stranded outside the crease.

Sanjeev Sharma, Delhi's coach, justified Sehwag's approach saying that if the side had any chance, it was through him. Parthiv also conceded that Sehwag's wicket put an end to Delhi's aim of chasing down the target.

"He is always a big wicket and you saw how Gambhir was also attacking in his presence," Parthiv said. "But the following batsmen had to change the approach and I think that was the end of the game."

At the start of the day, an outright win had been a possibility for either team. On a deteriorating pitch, Gujarat had a lead of 114 runs with six wickets in hand, a situation from where they could have fashioned a win. Delhi would also have fancied chasing a score of around 220, Sharma said, since they needed points.

The opening hour played to that script as Delhi removed Smit Patel, Parthiv and Rush Kalaria within eight overs. Parthiv scored an aggressive half-century but edged one from Parvinder Awana to Chand at first slip. Akshar, Karia and Rakesh Dhurv, however, frustrated the Delhi bowling for 26.4 overs and stretched the lead by 90 runs, adding valuable runs for the last three wicket stands.

Parthiv mentioned how important those runs were. "I was honestly worried last night, given Gujarat's history at the ground," Parthiv said after the game. "But that's why we have allrounders in the team and they all came good. In the context of the game, that was a vital period."

Gujarat play Karnataka in Bangalore next, while Delhi take on Mumbai from November 14.

Devashish Fuloria is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • James on November 12, 2013, 14:25 GMT

    @SamRoy: It isn't Tendulkar's fault- its just that he has announced his decision to retire and the BCCI has obliged (for its own commercial benefit) to host the matches in a manner such that they benefit the most. The purity and classical nature of the game, is okay, but at the end of the day- it is also a commercial activity.

    That apart, I dont think the selectors are doing him any favours. I dont see any batsman outside the team, who is currently a better bet than Tendulkar. In fact, had he been available for the SA tour, it would have made a lot of sense to include him in that team as well.

  • Naresh on November 12, 2013, 7:26 GMT

    @Jose Puliampatta - thats a great idea BCCI should arrange a farewell ODI match all the former players like Ganguly, Shewag, Laxman, Dravid, Kumble, Sachin...... these should be in the one team and the other should be current India. We talk of the fab four - but we miss out Shewag. He is in the same league.

  • uncle bob on November 11, 2013, 19:41 GMT

    @sportofpain: unfortunately now a days no body fears sehwag. not even ranji level bowlers. Sehwag was great but now a days he is just a walking wicket and worst fielder no team can afford to have in the playing eleven, not even Delhi Ranji team. He should retire immediately without causing much harm to his reputation. And I was a serious sehwag's fan.

  • RAJARAMAN on November 11, 2013, 8:12 GMT

    Anish Mon ... farewell test has to be earned, not given based on previous exploits ... let VS earn it like Saurav did ...

  • Ivan on November 11, 2013, 8:09 GMT

    Typically selfless Viru. Played to win as he has done throughout his career. Which is why I am a HUGE fan of his. He should be on the plane to SA - mark my words - Class is permanent, form only temporary. Apart from his undisputed greatness, he brings experience that this team will lack with Sachin's retirement. And the opposition will fear him more than anyone else.

  • PRADEEP KUMAR on November 11, 2013, 2:05 GMT

    Delhi should give the chance to others regular players, not keep on trying some players who are not performing otherwise delhi will be out very soon and will be out in first round

  • Dummy4 on November 11, 2013, 0:54 GMT

    When the selectors meet to decide the tour party for SA, some players should not take any of their time : Veeru, Gambhir, Yuvi & Yusuf. There are many young batsmen already playing for the country and at least a dozen other batsmen in their 20's are waiting for their chances. Spend time to decide, who among these youngsters can shine in the conditions prevailing in SA, And a couple of them who can benefit immensely being there.

    Yes; they will have to ponder a lot about the bowlers. Hope they will not waste time on guys like Ishant, Vinay Kumar, Dinda, Unadkat and alot of others who had been tried and failed. WE should have a stroong wicket taking pack of spinners. For Pace Bhuvi is good with new ball & Shamii with the old; but in test match , there are hell of alt of overs in-between. I had lot of hopes on Yadav; but he also turned out to be like Ishant; both do not like to use their brains.

    Who is the useless bowling Coach we have? Can we persuade Zak to coach our pacers?

  • Dummy4 on November 11, 2013, 0:39 GMT

    I agree with SamRoy. Test Matches shouldn't be misused as farewell matches. If the BCCI wants to show gratitude, or the player asks for one (in such cases, it is a benefit match) special matches should be organised. Even then, Test format should not be misused with all the laughable at best (idiotic at worst) extravaganzas. Use "Technicolor ODI's" for it -- ideally formatted and packaged for such purposes. And we can bear it, (maximum 100 overs and could get over with it in a day)

  • Jay on November 10, 2013, 17:31 GMT

    I still feel Viru can offer A LOT to the ODI team. If he can consistently score 30s and 40s in an ODI game, that's more than enough. But the problem is, we already have two settled openers for the foreseeable future in Dhawan and Rohit. Viru can now only play in the middle order; is he up for that ? I am not sure.

  • Anup on November 10, 2013, 15:53 GMT

    After a farewell test for Sachin Tendulkar in Mumbai, will the BCCI organise a farewell test for Virender Sehwag in Delhi and Harbhajan Singh in Mohali sometime next year?

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