New Delhi: An irresponsible pull-shot from skipper Shikhar Dhawan led to a top-order collapse as Delhi were reeling at 48 for four at stumps on the third day, chasing a modest target 136 against Railways, in a sixth round Ranji Trophy encounter being played at the Roshanara ground.
If the first couple of sessions belonged to Delhi seamer Sumit Narwal who returned with career-best figures of seven for 43 to dismiss Railways for 166, it was Railways’ new-ball bowler Anureet Singh who kept his team’s chances alive with an incisive spell in the last session to remove Shikhar (14), Mayank Tehlan (6) and Unmukt Chand (22).
Aditya Jain (2) was dismissed by veteran Jai Prakash Yadav.
However it was Narwal who got into the act straightaway dismissing openers Faiz Fazal and Shreyas Khanolkar in his first two overs.
In his first spell of seven overs, Narwal pitched the ball in the right areas got a fair bit of movement as he got four wickets to rock the top-order before skipper Sanjay Bangar (67, 169 balls, 7x4) and wicketkeeper-batsman Mahesh Rawat (50, 97 balls, 7x4) added 90 runs for the fifth wicket.
Just when it looked Railways will set a stiff target, Rawat was out fishing at an away going delivery snapped up by Puneet Bisht behind the stumps.
Bangar who was lucky to survive being dropped as many three times was finally out as a Narwal delivery held its line to disturb his off-stump. In fact Narwal got the first seven wickets when JP was smartly caught by Shikhar Dhawan in the slips.
With a modest target to chase in conditions where the ball was doing a fair bit, one expected Shikhar to play a matured knock but he only skied a pull shot off Anureet’s bowling to be taken by Harshad Rawle. Aditya, who is likely to be dropped in the next game was found plumb in-front to an incoming delivery from JP.
Mayank Tehlan, another candidate who will sit out when Mithun Manhas and Virat Kohli make a comeback in the next match fished at an away going delivery from Anureet as Murali Kartik took a simple catch in the first slip.
Hero of Delhi’s first essay, Unmukt played a few delightful cover drives before a nervous poke at the fag end of the day saw him taken by Rawat behind the stumps.