New Delhi: Skipper Gautam Gambhir's decision to play at Roshanara Club ground is set to be vindicated as his bowlers pushed Delhi to the verge of an outright win over Saurashtra in their Group B Ranji Trophy cricket match here on Tuesday.
At stumps on the third day, Saurashtra, after being forced to follow-on, were 163 for four.
They still require 62 runs to avoid innings defeat after being shot out for 217 in the first essay, conceding a 225-run first-innings lead. Delhi had scored 442 in their first innings. The visitors were 76 runs short of the follow-on score of 293.
The Delhi bowlers put up a collective effort and it will take a Herculean task for the visiting team batsmen to play out an entire day with only six wickets in hand. The two new ball bowlers Parvinder Awana and Sumit Narwal kept a tight leash on batsmen. Rajat Bhatia, as the third seamer, did his usual stuff by bowling to a disciplined line.
Saurashtra batsmen showed better application in the second innings as Sagar Jogiyani (48) and Arpit Vasavada (33) added 67 runs for the second wicket in 25.2 overs. Saurashtra, playing for a point, were 100 for one before pacer Navdeep Saini, with an outgoing delivery, induced Vasavada to edge one to Unmukt Chand at second slip.
Jogiyani was then cleaned up by seamer Sumit Narwal. The glovesman hit seven boundaries.
From 100 for one, Saurashtra slumped to 100 for three. Another blow was losing skipper Jaydev Shah (14), who got a beauty from Parvinder Awana that kicked up and the edge flew to Puneet Bisht behind stumps.
In the morning, Saurashtra started at 152 for six but it was Narwal (3/52), who cleaned up the lower-order.
He started by trapping top-scorer Divyaraj Singh Chauhan (63) leg before with a delivery that kept low. Kamlesh Makvana (10) also got a similar delivery while Dharmendra Jadeja offered a catch that was taken by a diving Unmukt.
Debutant off-spinner Shivam Sharma then got Sudeep Tyagi to edge one to Bisht as the Saurashtra first innings came to an end in 79.5 overs.
Brief Scores: Delhi 1st innings 442
Saurashtra: 1st Innings 217 in 79.5 overs (Divyaraj Chauhan 63, Rajat Bhatia 3/25, Parvinder Awana 3/30, Sumit Narwal 3/52)
Saurashtra 2nd Innings: (following on) 163/4 (Sagar Jogiyani 48, Sheldon Jackson 34 batting, Sumit Narwal 1/13).