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Fallah fifer spoils Rawal’s effort to hand Delhi 1st innings lead

A gritty 65 by Vaibhav Rawal failed to help Delhi go past Maharashtra’s first innings total of 196 on the second day of their Ranji Trophy tie at Roshanara cricket ground on Sunday. Only 54 overs could be bowled due to wet ground conditions which delayed the start by nearly two hours while bad light forced the umpires to end the day’s play over an hour before scheduled time. Maharashtra were three for no-loss after four overs when play was called off.

The hosts were bundled out for 193 runs in overcast conditions, just three runs short of the visitor’s total. Left arm seamer Samad Fallah wrecked through the Delhi batting order to return with figures of 5/67. Delhi resumed at 60/3 with veteran Mithun Manhas and Vaibhav Rawal at the crease but only seven overs could be played lunch. Manhas started the post-lunch session aggressively, hitting a scorching cover drive to get the scoreboard ticking.

But Fallah bowled with zeal to keep both the batsmen under guard. Manhas’s resistance didn’t last long as Fallah got his fourth wicket, trapping him plumb in front. Manhas and Rawal had added 59 runs for the fourth wicket, out of which 34 came on Sunday. At 94/4, Delhi looked in trouble and needed another partnership to battle against conditions that assisted pace bowling.

Rajat Bhatia came in and struck a meaty boundary but he too departed soon as Fallah forced an edge off his bat with a rising delivery that was neatly snapped by Rohit Motwani behind the stumps.

Vaibhav Rawal held one end, seeing off Fallah’s threat and quietly getting the runs in ones and twos.

Rawal hit eight boundaries in his knock, including a classy flick to bring up his half-century. Punit Bisht hit a crisp boundary before hoicking him over square leg for a six, but he departed when pacer Anupam Sanklecha trapped him. Rawal too fell soon, mishitting Nikit Dhumal to Anupam Sanklecha.

Though Pawan Suyal played a cameo, hitting Fallah for a six and a four to bring Delhi close to the visitor’s first innings total, the bowler had the last laugh as Suyal holed out to KM Jadav while going for another big shot.
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