The moment Mumbai and Delhi ended up with tied scores in their third Ranji Trophy game on Saturday afternoon at the Bandra-Kurla Complex, it became eminently clear that the match was headed for a draw. And on expected lines both the teams used the remaining time available to gain some valuable batting practice.
The hosts started Day 4 in a commanding position at 198 for two. Overnight batsmen Aditya Tare and Siddhesh Lad, batting on 115 and 67 respectively, looked to up the ante in the morning session but could not make much headway, falling for 122 and 85.
Experienced all-rounder Abhishekh Nayar and attacking batsman Suryakumar Yadav then joined hands for a quick-fire partnership of 70 runs for the fifth wicket. Nayar was at his aggressive best, scoring a run-a-ball 60 with 9 fours and a six. Yadav on the other hand scored 27 in 22 balls with 5 hits to the fence.
With both batsmen getting out in quick succession, Mumbai declared their second innings on 347 for 6 with Hiken Shah and Javed Khan batting on 10 and 15 respectively.
Left-arm medium pacer Pawan Suyal returned with figures of 3 for 52 in 13 overs for the visitors. Coming in to bat in the second innings, Delhi openers Unmukt Chand and Gautam Gambhir showed aggressive intent by scoring freely.
Unmukt scored an unbeaten 106 off 154 balls with 14 fours and a massive six. Gautam Gambhir notched up a patient 51 off 122 balls to go with his first innings score of 64. He eventually retired hurt to give Virender Sehwag some much needed match practice.
Sehwag too didn’t disappoint and scored a quick-fire 35 of 22 balls. Chasing 347 was always going to be difficult with only two sessions to play and Delhi eventually ended on 198-0. Both teams shared a point each. Mumbai are strongly placed with 13 points while Delhi are struggling with jus three points from three matches.
Brief scores: Mumbai: 324 and 347-6 decl (Aditya Tare 122, Siddesh Lad 85; Pawan Suyal 3-52). Delhi: 324 and 198-0 (Unmukt Chand 106 not out, Gautam Gambhir 51).