Ranji Trophy: Virat Kohli cracks unbeaten ton to guide Delhi to 258/3

Chennai: Virat Kohli slammed an unbeaten 119 to help former Champions Delhi reach 258 for three in 88 overs against Tamil Nadu at close on the opening day of their Elite group-A Ranji Trophy match here on Wednesday.

Electing to bat first, Delhi Captain Mithun Minhas provided a good foil to Kohli in his effort to make a fine 70 (140b, 4 X 4 and 2 X 6) and his stand for the third wicket yielded 190 runs of 53.5 overs.

Minhas was tricked by a low delivery from medium pacer Ganapathy and was adjudged LBW, while Dhawan trying to sweep Ashwin missed the line of the ball and was clean bowled.

Kohli, who had held the centre stage in Delhi’s first match against Bengal with a superb 173 in the first innings, maintained his form and kept at bay the charging Tamil Nadu bowlers throughout his stay at the wicket after the fall of both the openers Chetan Sharma (11) and Shikhar Dhawan (41, 77b 7 x 4).

At close, Kholi was batting on 119 (219b, 11x4 and 3x6) and Punit Bisht, who came in after another Delhi dependable batsman Rajat Bhatia retired hurt due to an injury on his right hand sustained while negotiating a raising delivery from M.Prabhu, was on five.

Close to end of play, Kohli on 112 survived a chance when his pulled shot catch was dropped by Aushik Srinivas at fine leg of medium pacer Sunil Sam.

For Tamil Nadu, Prabhu who came into the team as replacement for injured Lakshmipathy Balaji, C.Ganapathy and off spinner R.Ashwin claimed a wicket each.

Brief score: Delhi (first innings) 258 for 3 in 88 overs (Shikhar Dhawan 41, Virat Kholi batting 119, Punit Bisht batting 5, C.Ganapathy 1 for 21, R.Ashwin 1 for 75 and M.Prabhu 1 for 34).