New Delhi: Haryana bounced back after a low first-innings total as their bowlers bundled out Delhi for 237, conceding a slender lead which was overpowered with visiting skipper Virender Sehwag standing firm at the end of second days play of the Ranji Trophy league game here.
Getting over a 42-run lead, Haryana were 68 for two at stumps with Sehwag (29 not out) and Himanshu Rana (12 not out) battling it out at Feroz Shah Kotla. They lead by 26 runs.
Earlier starting on their overnight score of 22 for no loss, Delhi rode on Unmukt Chand's 68 to just about get ahead of Haryana's first innings score of 195.
Skipper Gautam Gambhir (18) was the first to go this morning after being trapped LBW off Ashish Hooda, while Mohit Ahlawat departed for a duck off the same bowler.
Hooda was helped by pace spearhead Harshal Patel as the opening bowling duo bagged three wickets apiece.
Delhi's middle-order wobbled, but Nitish Rana struck a gutsy 48 and some lower-order resistance from Pradeep Sangwan (34) and Sarang Rawat (26) saw the hosts get ahead of Haryana.
Off-spinner Jayant Yadav, who got the prized wicket of Unmukt, wiped off the tail to return with impressive figures of 4-78.
The Delhi bowlers came all guns blazing in the final session to pack the openers early but Sehwag and Rana made sure that the match stays alive going into the penultimate day.
Chaitanya Bishnoi (3) was the first to go after being trapped LBW off part-time spinner Milind Kumar, who bagged a maiden wicket in his only over of the day, and Rahul Dewan was also trapped LBW off Sangwan for 15.
Ishant Sharma squeezed in 6 overs to give away 18 runs but is yet to pick up a wicket.
Haryana coach Surendra Bhave admitted that it's an evenly poised game that could go either way and his batsmen have to grind it out in the middle tomorrow.
"It's an open game. We would like to take it hour by hour. Needs to be a good batting day tomorrow to set up the match. It's imperative atleast to bat till tea, if possible the whole day
Bhave also praised the bowlers for their effort, "Harshal, Hooda and even Pahal, who did the blocking job, were excellent with the ball".
Haryana 195 and 68/2 in 23 overs (Virender Sehwag 29 not out, Himanshu Rana 12 not out; Pradeep Sangwan 1-24, Milind Sharma 1-0)
Delhi 237 all out in 73.4 overs (Unmukt Chand 68, Nitish Rana 48; Jayant Yadav 4-78, Ashish Hooda 3-33, Harshal Patel 3-61).