Delhi openers snatch the initiative from Punjab

November 4th, 2008 - 10:03 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 4 (IANS) An unbeaten century stand by Delhi openers Shikhar Dhawan and Akash Chopra took the sheen off Punjab’s first innnings total of 391 on the second day of the Ranji Trophy Super Division at the Roshanara Club grounds here Tuesday.Skipper Chopra (67, 115 balls, 10×4) and Shikhar Dhawan with a brisk 64 (77b,9×4) frustrated the Punjab attack as they carried their side to 142 after the stumps were drawn early, six overs before scheduled close, due to bad light.

Resuming at 237 for five, Overnight pair of Uday Kaul (95) and Ankur Kakkar (56) made merry on a dead track, that offered no assistance to bowlers, with a crucial 102-run sixth wicket stand, adding 41 runs for the day before being separated.

Both players played freely this morning with Kakkar hitting eight fours in his 83 balls innings.

Luck, too, played a part as Kakkar, when on 52, was dropped by Punjab keeper Puneet Bisht off Ashish Nehra. However, Bisht soon atoned for his slip as Kakkar once again edged an outgoing delivery off Amit Bhandari and this time the wicket-keeper made no mistake.

Kakkar’s wicket brought Delhi back into the game as Punjab lost Gagandeep Sigh and Manpreet Goni in quick succession even as Uday held the forte at one end.

He was joined by younger sibling Siddharth Kaul and both added 42 runs. Uday, however, got a life in the second ball after lunch when Bisht once again dropped him off Bhandari.

The brothers batted fluently, thereafter, before Bhandari had his revenge against Uday, who was caught by Bisht just five runs short of his century. Uday hit 12 fours during his 333 minutes stay.

Pradeep Sangwan then dismissed Sarabjit Singh Ladda to end with the figures of four for 102 runs.

Delhi openers Chopra and Dhawan started on a promising note exploited the slow batting track and kept the fielders under pressure by rotating the strike.

Chopra took his time to settle down as Dhawan was punishing the bowlers at the other end. Later Chopra also cut loose hitting ten boundaries as the Punjab attack went through the motions. The two were going strong when play was called off in 33.2 overs.

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