New Delhi, Nov. 26 -- Two batsmen barely into their 20s with contrasting physique paved the way for Delhi to dominate powerhouse Tamil Nadu on Day Two of their Ranji Trophy match on Sunday. In Delhi's previous match against Baroda, when Mohit Sharma was dismissed for 71 at a crucial stage, chief coach Vijay Dahiya was upset he wasted a good start.
But after resuming on his overnight 40, Mohit, playing only his third game on his debut Ranji season, piled up 175 to push Delhi to 555/4 before they declared.
His partner for most of the day was Vaibhav Rawal, a hefty 20-year-old, who built on the promise he showed at U-25 level with three tons in four games, scoring an unbeaten 100 on debut. Both the wiry Mohit, coming from a family of cricketers who have played for other states, and Vaibhav, who grooms his skills in his uncle's academy, made full use of the placid track but played mostly in the V.
Towards the end, Mohit went berserk, helping Delhi milk 70 in 11 overs. With TN resorting to a negative line, he moved back to where a fifth stump would be and drove through covers and then played an improvised sweep off pace bowling.
Rawal, who lost his father when he was just eight, had hit headlines last season with a 298 in the U-22 level. He had attended the KKR and Mumbai Indians' camps last season. But as his uncle Ajay Verma says, "We've blocked that (IPL) part from his mind. Ranji is the priority." Tamil Nadu lost Abhinav Mukund to reach 31/1 at stumps.
Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.