Delhi started their Ranji Trophy campaign in a resounding fashion as they wallopped last edition’s semi-finalists Assam by an innings and 83 runs on the final day of the opening group league encounter.
Having piled up a gigantic first innings score of 589 for 8 thereby taking a 396-run lead, Delhi bowled out Assam for 313 in their second essay to log home a maximum seven points including a bonus point.
For Delhi, it was left-arm spinner Manan Sharma, who grabbed a career-best 5/108 in 26.3 overs while left-arm seamer Pradeep Sangwan (2/40) and slow left-armer Varun Sood (2/81) chipped in with vital breakthroughs.
Needing seven wickets on the final day after Assam started the proceedings at 100 for three, Delhi bowlers kept up the pressure from the start.
The first breakthrough in the morning was provided by pacer Navdeep Saini, who got left-handed Amit Verma (35) to edge one to Rishabh Pant behind the stumps. Once the 62-run stand was broken, the other overnight batsman KB Arun Karthik (34) was snapped up by skipper Unmukt Chand off Sood’s bowling to have Assam reeling at 121 for five.
As the end looked imminent, Assam’s middle-order provided some resistance with Tarjinder Singh (42) adding 78 runs in company of J Syed Mohammed (82). Tarjinder became Manan’s third victim caught by Sangwan. However, the duo of Sarupam Purkayashtha Syed Mohammed added 72 runs to delay the inevitable. Mohammed’s 154 ball vigil ended when he tried to hoick Manan to be caught by Saini in the deep.
Manan wrapped up the proceedings by trapping Krishna Das leg before with an arm delivery to record his fifth five-wicket haul in first class cricket.