TN have it tough as Delhi continue to dominate

Hosts declare after piling on 555/4

On a day of intense cricket for Mohit Sharma and Vaibhav Rawal, the two  performed their roles with the flair of seasoned campaigners.

The left-handers raised their games a notch higher and placed Delhi in a position of strength on the second day of the Ranji Trophy match against Tamil Nadu.

The placid nature of the Kotla pitch only made the task tougher for the Tamil Nadu bowlers who compounded their worries with a wayward line.

Mohit (175, 285b, 28x4, 1x6) grew in strength and confidence with each session. He was guilty of having frittered away a century. But not this day.  He negotiated the moving ball in the morning well and his hunger for runs got only stoked during the course of the day.

He found an able ally in debutant Rawal (100 n.o., 203b, 12x4) who showed excellent temperament on way to a well-paced century. The two amassed 221 runs for the fourth wicket before Delhi declared at 555/4 in 155 overs and took the field in last half hour spanning nine overs.

Parvinder Awana gave Delhi the breakthrough with the fifth ball of the innings when Abhinav Mukund edged him at slips to Shikhar Dhawan, who caught him on his second attempt.

At close, Tamil Nadu were 31/1 with K B Arun Karthik batting on 6 alongwith Baba Aparajith, who had made a quick 30-ball 25 with five fours.

Tamil Nadu took the new ball at the start of the day and got quick successes with the wickets of Unmukt Chand and Mithun Manhas.

Chand, who began the day at 134, was caught behind off Yo Mahesh, adding only four more runs. An in-form Manhas (0) made his way back three over later after Lakshmipathi Balaji’s (2-88) delivery breached his defence to knock the off stump.

That was all Tamil Nadu could extract in the first hour. Once the moisture in the pitch was gone, Mohit and Rawal made the bowlers toil hard.

Rawal, broad and well built, and having racked three back-to-back centuries at under-25 level, never looked the one playing his debut Ranji match. 

There were hardly any nerves when he faced the first ball, rather a quiet confidence.  He and Mohit soon adopted the armour of a settled pair and runs came at a first clip.

Mohit, reached his century, shortly after lunch with a lofted shot to the midwicket boundary, and deserved the standing adulation from his team-mates.

Rawal, too, reached his half-century and Delhi took tea at 485/3. The two upped the ante in last session, the first 11 overs leaking 70 runs. Balaji returned to bowl Mohit but by that time Delhi had plundered enough runs.

Once Rawal, who scored only through singles once he reached his 90, reached his century, Delhi wasted no time in delcaring their innings.

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