Ranji Trophy: Delhi fighting to save innings defeat; stare at elimination
Hubballi (Karnataka): Delhi side led by Gautam Gambhir are staring at a humilating innings defeat against defending champions Karnataka in a Ranji Trophy group A league encounter, here today.
At stumps on third day, Delhi were 22 for no loss as they were enforced follow-on after being bowled out for 301 in their first innings in reply to Karnataka's huge score of 542.
With 241 runs in arrears, skipper Gambhir (13 batting) and Unmukt Chand (3 batting) are battling at least get a point as they still need 220 runs to avoid innings defeat.
If Delhi lose the match, they would be practically out of contention for a berth in the quarter-finals from Group A as they will finish their league engagements with 24 points from eight games.
If they happen to manage a point and finish on 25 points, still they have very little chance of making it as it will depend on the equation of the last round matches.
Starting the day at 60 for one, Delhi batsmen could never set the tempo during the 104.1 overs that they batted. Skipper Gambhir top scored with 75 off 151 balls that had 10 fours, but it was yet another patchy effort from the veteran India discard, who just about managed to survive.
When he managed to break the shackles, it was part-time off-breaks of Karun Nair, that saw him edge one to CM Gautham behind stumps.
Earlier, talented Dhruv Shorey (16) was padded a wrong one from Shreyash Gopal as Delhi lost wickets at one end.
Left-handers Nistish Rana (32) and Vaibhav Rawal (54) were out after getting set. In the lower order, Manan Sharma (56) hit 11 lusty boundaries en route his half-century but Delhi were never in serious contention of chasing down the mammoth first innings target set by the hosts.
Karnataka bowlers hunted down Delhi as a team with seamers HS Sharath (2/46), Sreenath Aravind (2/41) and Abhimanyu Mithun (2/52) sharing the spoils. Leggie Gopal also chipped in with a couple of wickets while R Vinay Kumar and Karun shared one apiece.
Brief Scores: Karnataka 1st Innings 542 Delhi 1st Innings 301 all out in 104.1 overs (Gautam Gambhir 75, Manan Sharma 56, Vaibhav Rawal 54, Sreenath Aravind 2/41, HS Sharath 2/46).
Delhi 2nd Innings (Following on) 22/0 (Gautam Gambhir batting 13). Match to continue.