New Delhi: A brilliant unbeaten double century by wicketkeeper-batsman Punit Bisht and lion-hearted bowling by speedster Parvinder Awana put Delhi in driver`s seat against Baroda in an Elite Group match of the Ranji Trophy on Thursday.
Bisht who scored a career-best 223 not out helped Delhi reach 415 with a lead of 97 runs in reply to Baroda`s first innings score of 318. Baroda were reeling at 81 for four in the second innings still trailing by 16 runs as Delhi are now sniffing at a chance getting full five points from the tie.
In the second innings, Awana (2/25) bowled a fiery spell to remove Baroda openers Kedar Devdhar (16) and Aditya Waghmode (8) before Rajat Bhatia (2/12) dismissed the dangerous looking Shatrunjay Gaekwad (32) and nightwatchman Swapnil Singh (4).
Much of the credit for Delhi`s resurgence should go to Bisht as he showed a lot of grit and gumption even though Irfan Pathan (7/114) was making the ball talk.
Bisht lost Sunny Sehrawat (27) at the score of 277 as he became Pathan`s sixth victim of the innings. With 41 still to get, Ashish Nehra (23, 70 balls, 4x4) batted with lot of responsibility as they added 56 runs for the eighth wicket.
The important part was that Nehra consumed 101 minutes which gave Bisht the necessary confidence to play his natural game. The second new ball got them a few quick runs which helped their cause.
Once the lead was ensured, Bisht opened up and completed a majestic double hundred with a pull-shot. He even hit a six off Pathan. During his eight hours and 11 minute stay at the wicket, Bisht faced 290 balls and hit 30 boundaries and two sixes.
Pathan finally got his seventh wicket when Vikas Mishra edged one to Devdhar. This was Pathan`s best figures in an innings in Ranji Trophy and is leading bowler`s column with 21 wickets.
"I am not thinking about the national call-up. My job is to perform and I am doing that. The best part is that I am being able to bowl in the manner I want to. As far as my batting is concerned, I am doing well and it`s just that I need a big score," Pathan told the reporters at the end of day`s play.
Brief scores: Baroda 318 & 81/4 (S Gaekwad 32, Parvinder Awana 2/25, Rajat Bhatia 2/12).
Delhi 415 (Punit Bisht 223 no, Irfan Pathan 7/114).