Ghaziabad: An impressive allround show by Uttar Pradesh helped them beat Delhi by six wickets in a Group B encounter of the Ranji trophy match at Ghaziabad on Monday.
Needing 155 to win in the fourth innings on the final day, UP, led by Suresh Raina, reached the target in 39.2 overs and bagged 6 points over their much fancied opposition.
Imtiaz Ahmed who got nine wickets in the match – five in the first and four in the second - was the best bowler for UP.
They dominated the star-studded Delhi team from the day one. Apart from Virender Sehwag in the second innings and Mithun Manhas no other Delhi batsmen showed the stomach to put up a fight against the hosts.
Uttar Pradesh gained the upper hand when they bowled Delhi out for a below par 235 on the opening day. They then amassed 403 in their first inning, taking a healthy 168-run lead.
Opener Mukul Dagar(116) playing only his second first class match, scored a fluent hundred. Former India player Md. Kaif also played a good innings of 91.
Delhi batsmen, barring Sehwag (107) and Manhas, disappointed again in the second innings. They put on 322 runs on the board and set Uttar Pradesh a target of 155 runs to win in maximum 50 overs.
Though Delhi lost, the last day will be remembered for Sehwag`s superlative century.
The Delhi batsman slammed 19 fours in his innings which was cheered by a significant Ghaziabad crowd.
The hosts needed 90 runs in the last session to beat Delhi.
Their skipper, Raina, played a watchful knock of 37 to help his team bag six points after reaching the target in 39.2 overs.
Needing 155 to win, UP openers-Mukul Dagar and Tanmay Srivastava- started cautiously reaching 54 for no loss before the former was removed by part-time offie Mithun Manhas for a confident 47-ball 37.
Before the tea was taken, Tanmay Srivastava was batting on 18 while Raina was on 6.
Raina started off after tea on a positive note hitting Ishant through the point for a beautiful boundary. Along with Tanmay Srivastava, Raina, who was dropped from the national Test side on Monday, was going well.
Srivastava was run out for a score of 26.
UP needed 66 more runs at that stage when Parvinder Singh joined Raina in the middle. When it seemed that Raina would take his team to victory he was taken at cover off Ishant Sharma for 37.
Aris Alam then joined Parvinder in the middle with UP needing 38 runs. Parvinder got out after scoring 19.
They needed 24 more runs to win when Ali Murtaza came out to bat. He scored a couple of boundaries under pressure to see his side home. Muratza remained not out on 14 while Alam was unbeaten on 15.
Earlier, Delhi were bowled out for 322 shortly after lunch, setting a target of 155 for UP to register an outright win in 50 overs.
From 308/7 Delhi could manage only 14 runs. Ishant sharama got out for 5. He became the 3rd victim of Imtiaz Ahmed.
Sehwag could add just two runs to his lunch score before Imtiaz removed him.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar then bowled Nehra for 8 to end Delhi’s innings at 322.
Virender Sehwag played a magnificent knock to almost rescue Delhi singlehandedly from losing the match.
At lunch on Day 4, Delhi were 308/7, a lead of 140 runs. Sehwag was unbeaten on 105 and Ishant Sharma was not out on 1 at the break.
Resuming on 197/4, with a slender lead of 29 runs, Delhi lost two quick wickets in Mithun Manhas (63) and Sumit Narwal (0).
At that time Delhi were reeling at 218/6 with just 50-run lead. But Sehwag had other ideas. Unlike on Sunday he started to dominate from the word go. He smacked Bhuvneshwar Kumar for two superb boundaries who had earlier consumed Manhas early in the morning.
Sehwag throughout the whole morning session played compact cricket. He hardly took any aerial route in the first session in which Delhi scored 111 runs losing 3 more wickets.
He reached his 50 off 75 balls with 10 fours. Though he was dropped by Raina on 70 at second slip, his is a responsible knock which gave Delhi a great chance of saving the match.
Sehwag took the full use of his dropped chance. From 83 he reached 95 with three exquisite consecutive fours off Imtiaz Ahmed. He finally completed his ton off 146 balls with 18 hits to the fence.
Birthday boy Pradeep sangwan also complemented him well hanging in there for his 75-ball 21. He put on 85-run stand with Sehwag which put Delhi in safe zone in the morning session.