Delhi crush Vidarbha by an innings & 156 runs as Nehra takes 9

New Delhi, Dec 16 (PTI) Hosts Delhi extracted maximum benefit from conducive conditions as they thrashed Vidarbha by an innings and 156 runs in a Ranji Trophy group league encounter to get seven points which kept their hopes of making the knockout stages alive.

Declaring on their overnight score of 448 for nine, Delhi pacers Ashish Nehra (3/66), Sumit Narwal (3/52) and Parvinder Awana (3/29) bowled well in tandem as they shot out Vidarbha for 204 in their second innings.

Nehra was adjudged man-of-the-match by match referee Sanjay Patil for his all-round performance with match-figures of 9/82 and an attacking 57 that had four sixes. In-form opener Faiz Fazal (90) played a counter-attacking innings but that wasn`t enough for the visitors to erase a huge deficit of 360 runs.

The match started 50 minutes late due to foggy conditions and Nehra again got a breakthrough in his very first over as he trapped opener Akshay Kolhar leg before with a delivery that came into the batsman. Ravi Jangid (4) poked at an away going delivery from Nehra after which Parvinder Awana took three quick wickets to reduce Vidarbha to 40 for five.

Awana bowled fast and straight as he got Shalabh Srivastava to offer a catch to Rajat Bhatia at short-leg and then took a fine return catch to get rid of Rashmi Ranjan Parida (1). At the stroke of lunch, he cleaned up burly Ranjit Paradkar (0). However Fazal, in company of wicketkeeper Urvesh Patel (34), added 106 runs for the sixth wicket to delay the inevitable. Since Gautam Gambhir had employed an attacking field, Shalabh got a lot of gaps in front of the square as he hit 16 boundaries in his 164-ball knock.

Finally, Narwal broke the deadlock as he got Urvesh to edge one to Unmukt Chand in the slip cordon at the stroke of tea. Delhi marched closer towards victory when Nehra got rid of Jungade to take his ninth victim of the match while wily Narwal got one to move away dismissing Fazal who nicked it to Rahul Yadav behind the stumps.

At 151 for eight, it was Shrikant Wagh (44, 33 balls, 10x4) who threw his bat around to take the score past 200 run mark before part-time spinner Mithun Manhas closed the match as Virender Sehwag took a smart catch diving to his right in the first slip. "It was a good win and has kept us in the mix for the quarter-finals. I believe that we would need to get another outright win against Punjab," chief coach Sanjeev Sharma said at the end of the match.

Sharma stated that the team would like to play their final two matches at the Roshanara although there is a possibility that the match will be shifted at the Kotla. Brief Scores: Vidarbha 88 & 204 in 63.1 overs (Faiz Fazal 90, Ashish Nehra 3/66, Sumit Narwal 3/52, Parvinder Awana 3/29) lost to Delhi 448/9 decl. Points: Delhi 7; Vidarbha 0.

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