Dhawan’s ton scripts Delhi’s big win

Hindustan Times (Patna) - - SPORT - Press Trust of In­dia

NEW DELHI: Lead­ing from the front, skip­per Shikhar Dhawan smashed an un­beaten 116 as Delhi thrashed Ma­ha­rash­tra by seven wick­ets in a Group B Ranji Tro­phy match to stay in con­tention for a knock-out berth.

Dhawan an­chored the in­nings to per­fec­tion as his un­beaten cen­tury helped the hosts chase a chal­leng­ing tar­get of 270.

He got fan­tas­tic sup­port from Mo­hit Sharma (51) and Mithun Man­has who smashed his way to a 40-ball-51 with the help of five fours and three sixes.

En route to his 16th first-class cen­tury, Dhawan faced 194 balls hit­ting 12 bound­aries and a six.

Dhawan-Man­has com­bi­na­tion added 83 runs in only 83 balls in the post lunch ses­sion which turned out to be de­ci­sive.

Delhi now have 17 points from seven games and they still have a fair chance of qual­i­fy­ing if they beat Vi­darbha in their fi­nal league game in Nag­pur.

It was one of the rare oc­ca­sion this sea­son when Delhi bats­men, save Un­mukt Chand, fired col­lec­tively.

Un­mukt was again guilty of play­ing a rank bad shot as he tried to cut a de­liv­ery from Shrikant Mundhe and dragged the back ball onto his stumps.

How­ever, Mo­hit Sharma was the part­ner that Dhawan was look­ing for as they slowly but steadily started the chase.

Dhawan was in pun­ish­ing mood on any­thing that was on his pads as well as de­liv­er­ies that were dug in short. Young left-han­der Mo­hit also played some lovely drives and was the first to reach half-cen­tury.

The duo added 94 runs for the sec­ond wicket as Mo­hit was trapped leg be­fore by left-arm seamer Sa­mad Fal­lah at the stroke of lunch.

How­ever, it was this part­ner­ship that be­came an ideal launchpad for Man­has to launch a fu­ri­ous as­sault on Ma­ha­rash­tra bowlers. He took on seamer Nikit Dhu­mal who was hit for three huge sixes.

He also mus­cled him through square leg for a boundary to get 16 from the over. In the next over he hooked Dhu­mal over fine leg for his third six. He reached his 50 in no time con­sid­er­ing he came into bat when Dhawan was on 42.

When Man­has was fi­nally caught bril­liantly by Ankit Bawne at gully off Mundhe's bowl­ing, the match was al­ready in Delhi's grip as they had reached 182. Brief Scores: Ma­ha­rash­tra 196 & 266. Delhi 193 & 273/3 (Shikhar Dhawan 116 no, Mo­hit Sharma 51, Mithun Man­has 51). Delhi won by 7 wick­ets. Points: Delhi 6 Ma­ha­rash­tra 0. MUM­BAI SET­TLE FOR DRAW VS SAURASH­TRA RA­JKOT: De­spite the need for an out­rightwin, Mum­bai to­day set­tled for a draw in their group "A" match against Saurash­tra when they re­stricted the hosts to 300 and then de­cided to bat again in­stead of im­pos­ing fol­low-on.

Mum­bai got three points while Saurash­tra got one point.

Ar­pit Vasavada's cen­tury was the only high­light of the day, as hosts, re­sum­ing at overnight 248 for 8, man­aged to add an­other 52 runs. Vasavada, who was on 83, com­pleted his cen­tury and re­mained un­beaten on 111 runs. He was sup­ported well by Jay­dev Unad­kat who made 28 as the duo added 70 runs for the ninth wicket. Dhawal Kulka­rni re­moved Unad­kat and then Sid­dharth Trivedi and fin­ished with im­pres­sive fig­ures of four for 58.

How­ever, cap­tain Ajit Agarkar did not en­force fol­lowon and de­cided to bat again. In the sec­ond in­nings, Mum­bai made 169 for four.

Wasim Jaf­fer (71) and Ro­hit Sharma (71) were the no­table con­trib­u­tors for Mum­bai. Ankit Cha­van (1) and Iqbal Ab­dulla (0) were at the crease when both the cap­tain agreed to call off the match. Mum­bai now have 14 points while Saurash­tra

have 16. Brief Scores: Mum­bai 606 for 5 de­clared and 169 for four (Wasim Jaf­fer 71, Ro­hit Sharma 71) against Saurash­tra 300 (Ar­pit Vasavada not out 111, Jay­dev Shah 60, Dhawal Kulka­rni 4-58, Javed Khan 2-43). HARYANA EARN THREE POINTS AGAINST UP LUCKNOW: A slen­der first-in­nings lead of 49runs proved to be cru­cial for Haryana as it helped them take three points against Ut­tar Pradesh.

The hosts, de­spite post­ing 348 in their sec­ond es­say, had to be con­tent with a point.

From in­di­vid­ual per­for­mances' point of view, Ut­tar Pradesh's wick­et­keeper-bats­man Eklavya Dwivedi hogged the lime­light with a 193-ball 121, the 24-year-old's maiden first­class cen­tury. Brief scores: Ut­tar Pradesh: 227 and 348 (Eklavya Dwivedi 121, parvin­der Singh 64 Har­shal Pa­tel 4/100). Haryana: 276 and 106 for three in 43 overs (Nitin Saini 68). BUN­DELA, JALAJ STEER MP TO 8-WICKET WIN GWALIOR: Skip­per Deven­dra Bun­dela (100)scored an un­beaten cen­tury and shared a match- win­ning 185-run stand with Jalaj Sax­ena (72 not out) as Mad­hya Pradesh spanked Pun­jab by eight wick­ets in their Group A match.

Chas­ing a 190-run tar­get, Mad­hya Pradesh over­came two early jolts to chase down the re­quired runs in 45.3 overs.

The hosts ear­lier shot out Pun­jab for 364 as the two overnight bats­men -- San­deep Sharma (28) and Bal­tej Singh (8) could re­sists the home bowlers for just 5.1 overs.

Pun­jab, who were fol­low­ing on, had be­gan the day at 354 for eight at Cap­tain Roop Singh Sta­dium.

MP's chase was not ideal as they lost opener Na­man Ojha (0) and Anand ra­jan (6) in­side the first five overs.

Pace­man San­deep Sharma had Ojha caught be­hind in the fifth ball of the in­nings and then he trapped Ra­jan in his third over. Sax­ena and Bun­dela though bat­ted well to steer the side to a com­fort­able vic­tory. Brief Scores: Mad­hya Pradesh: 323 and 193 for 2 in 45.3 overs (D Bun­dela 100 not out, J Sax­ena 72 not out S Sharma 2/39). Pun­jab 148 and 364 (f/o) in 97.1 overs. IN­NINGS WIN FOR RAIL­WAYS BHUBANESH­WAR: All-rounder Karan Shar­ma­grabbed a ca­reer-best eight-wicket haul as Rail­ways crushed de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons Ra­jasthan by an in­nings and 12 runs to record their first win of the sea­son here on Tues­day.

Re­ply­ing to the Rail­ways' mam­moth first in­nings score of 405, Ra­jasthan were fol­low­ing on af­ter be­ing dis­missed for 135.

Their sec­ond es­say ended at 258 with Karan be­ing the wrecker-in-chief in the Group A en­counter. With this win, Rail­ways, who had drawn their pre­vi­ous five matches, have jumped to fifth po­si­tion with 14 points.

Re­sum­ing at the overnight 153 for two, Ra­jasthan seemed steady as Robin Bist and Ashok Me­naria com­pleted con­trast­ing half-cen­turies.

While Ro­hit con­sumed 194 de­liv­er­ies for his 68-run knock, which in­cluded five fours and a six, Me­naria proved to be the ag­gres­sor with his 69-ball 56 which was stud­ded with 10 bound­aries, in­clud­ing a six. Fi­nal Scores: Rail­ways: 405 (Shukla 109, Mad­kaikar 86) Ra­jasthan: 135 and 258 (f/o) (Bist 68, Me­naria 56, Chouhan 51 Karan 8-97). AP, JHARK­HAND MATCH ENDS IN DRAW DHAN­BAD: Andhra Pradesh pock­ted three pointsby virtue of first in­nings lead af­ter their Ranji Tro­phy Group C match against Jhark­hand ended in a draw here to­day.

Need­ing to chase an im­prob­a­ble 143-run tar­get for an out­right win at the fag end of the day, Andhra fin­ished at 32 for four in 10 overs in their sec­ond in­nings. The out­come of the match was al­ready de­cided af­ter Jhark­hand, re­sum­ing at 20 for no loss, de­clared their sec­ond in­nings at 295 for nine, thereby set­ting the im­prob­a­ble tar­get in front of the vis­i­tors.

How­ever, Andhra will take home three points from the match be­cause of a vi­tal 153-run first in­nings lead.

Andhra scored 410 in their first in­nings in re­ply to Jhark­hand's 257 all out. Brief Scores: Jhark­hand: 257 and 295 for 9 in 91.3 overs (Sau­rabh Ti­wary 99, Akash Verma 82 Shaik Basha 6/74). Andhra Pradesh: 410 and 32 fof 4 in 10 overs. Points: Andhra Pradesh 3, Jhark­hand 1.

Cap­tain Shikhar Dhawan and (left) Mithun Man­has steered Delhi to a win. VIPIN KU­MAR/HT

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