Ranji Trophy: UP inch closer to victory against Delhi

Ghaziabad, Nov 4 (IANS) Uttar Pradesh Sunday got closer to an outright win in their Ranji Trophy Group B tie against Delhi, who lead by 29 runs with only six wickets left with a full day's play remaining at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here.

The hosts, who started the day at 292/6, piled on 111 more runs in the morning before being bowled out at 403, taking a lead of 168 runs.

Delhi, in their second innings, managed 197/4 at the end of the third day with Mithun Manhas and Virender Sehwag batting at 63 and 21, respectively.

As Delhi came into bat after bowling out the hosts just before lunch, opener Unmukt Chand was trapped leg before wicket on the first ball he faced.

Skipper Sehwag chose to stay in the pavilion as he had suffered an injury on his finger while fielding Saturday.

Gautam Gambhir (47) and Virat Kohli (43) added 70 runs for the second wicket hitting fluent boundaries regularly all over the ground. Gambhir's innings included four boundaries and a magnificent six over long off. But Ali Murtaza came back immediately taking Gambhir's wicket as the lefy-hander edged a turning ball to wicketkeeper Amir Khan.

Kohli also departed soon after edging a ball to Amir while going for a cover drive off Bhuvaneshwar Kumar's bowling.

After Puneet Bisht (14) was caught behind off Imtiaz Ahmed's bowling, who clinched his first five wicket haul in the first innings, the visitors looked in more than a spot of bother with the score at 146/4.

Sehwag finally came out to bat at No.6.

Thereon, Manhas and his skipper stabilised the innings not losing any more wickets with the former going after the slower bowlers, hitting 10 boundaries.

Earlier in the morning session, Uttar Pradesh piled on 111 more runs with the help of a compact innings from skipper Suresh Raina who made an important 55. This was Raina's 34th half-century in first class cricket, which included nine splendid boundaries.

However, Raina kept running out of partners and had to accelerate and in the process threw away his wicket when a slash went straight to third man where he was caught by all-rounder Pradeep Sangwan. This was Sumit Narwal's only wicket this morning after he clinched three Saturday.

The innings looked over for the hosts at 365/9 but some big hitting by Praveen Kumar propelled his team to a 400-plus score. Praveen remained unbeaten on 51, which included five boundaries.

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