Manhas century puts Delhi on top
Hosts establish a healthy 188-run lead after posting 331 in their first innings
Mithun Manhas stroked his way to a flawless century as Delhi took 188 runs first innings lead against Odisha on the second day of the Ranji Trophy at the Ferozeshah Kotla on Saturday.
Manhas (161 n.o., 273b, 26x4), who has been the mainstay of Delhi middle order for years, produced yet another classy innings which was also his 21st first-class hundred, even as his younger counterparts struggled to apply themselves. Only Sumit Narwal (66, 95b, 8x4, 1x6) stood firm with a fluent knock, adding 139 runs for the seventh wicket that saved Delhi from what could have been a precarious situation.
Basant Mohanty (4/81) was Odisha’s best bowler despite bowling 12 no balls as Delhi wrapped up their first innings for 331.
Odisha were 7/0 in the second innings with Abhilash Mallick batting at one and Paresh Patel 6 at the end of the day’s play.
Resuming at 62/3 and trailing by 81 runs, Delhi were reduced to 131/5 before lunch after overnight batsman Manan Sharma (15) and Milind Kumar (8) were back to the hut without significant contributions.
Delhi erased the lead before lunch but Punit Bisht (11), who was in good touch in the first match, fell cheaply soon after the break, edging to wicketkeeper off Basant Mohanty.
All this while, Manhas stood tall amidst ruins. The wicket was not easy to bat on, but a watchful Manhas never let it affect his strokeplay. There is an old-world charm to his batting and he played with a straight bat, drove with elegance, and even made room for odd cuts. Such was his timing that a straight drive off Deepak Behara sped past with the accuracy of a measuring scale.
It was a crackerjack innings by Manhas, who reached his 100 (to cover) and 150 (to midwicket) with hits to the fence. In his 15th season, Manhas reached his fourth 150-plus knock of the career, the earlier ones being 193 vs Punjab in 2001, 158 vs Railways in 2002 and 170 vs Maharashtra in 2009.
Manhas found an ideal companion in Narwal, who was simply brilliant on the off side. It was a rather swift innings from Narwal, who remorselessly hit Alok Mangaraj to three boundaries in an over-- extra cover, gully and square leg and even lofted left-armer Dhiraj Singh for a six over long off.
The two brought stability to Delhi innings and steadily worked on increasing the lead.
Orissa took the new ball in 92.2 overs. Five overs later, Mangaraj struck twice, first disturbing the off stump of Narwal and two balls balls later packing off Vikas Mishra leg before for a duck. The last two wickets were polished up for 29 runs, with a cramping Manhas doing the bulk of scoring to put Delhi in a dominating position.
Odisha (I Innings): 143 all out
Delhi (I Innings; O/n: 62/3): Unmukt Chand c Das b B Mohanty 3, Shikhar Dhawan c R Mohantry b B Mohanty 22, Mohit Sharma lbw D Behara 16, Mithun Manhas 161 n.o., Manan Sharma c Mallick b Mangaraj 15, Milind Kumar lbw D Behera 8, Punit Bisht c Das b B Mohanty 11, Sumit Narwal b Mangaraj 66, Vikas Mishra lbw Mangaraj 0, Parvinder Awana b B Mohanty 6, Pawan Suyal st Das b Patel 0. Extras (NB-19, LB-3, B-1) 23. Total: (all out, 105.4 overs) 331.
Fall of wickets: 1-5 (Chand), 2-41 (Mohit Sharma), 3-55 (Dhawan), 4-106 (Manan), 5-131 (Milind), 6-163 (Bisht), 7-302 (Narwal), 8-302 (Mishra), 9-326.
Bowling: Basant Mohanty 29-9-81-4, Alok Mangaraj 16-2-63-3, Rakesh Mohanty 3-0-10-0, Deepak Behera 19-5-47-2, Biplab Samantray 10-0-35-0, Dhiraj Singh 18-5-58-0, Govind Poddar 5-0-24-0, Paresh Patel 5.4-1-9-1
Odisha (II innings): Abhilash Mallick 1 n.o., Paresh Patel 6 n.o. Total (For no loss, 5 overs) 7.
Bowling: Parvinder Awana 1-0-1-0, Vikas Mishra 2-2-0-0, Manan Sharma 2-1-6-0.