Gautam Gambhir kept himself in the hunt for a place in the Indian team’s first XI against England in the first Test starting November 9 by hitting patient 147 helping Delhi take a substancial first innings lead in the Ranji Trophy group B encounter here on Friday.
After bowling out Odisha for 237 in the first innings, Delhi rode on skipper Gambhir’s 39th first-class ton to reach 351 for seven at stumps on the second day thereby taking a 114-run lead.
Gambhir faced 232 balls hitting 18 fours in the process.
He showed a lot of patience, waiting for the loose deliveries. He played some attractive shots square of the wicket as well as in-front. He used his feet to good effect against spin duo of left-arm slow bowler Dhiraj Singh and off-spinner Gobind Poddar.
The other significant contributor was Rishabh Pant, who smashed his way to a quickfire 60 off 56 balls comprising six boundaries and two sixes. Starting the day at 43 for no loss, Unmukt Chand’s wretched run continued as he was caught by Subhranshu Senapati off pacer Suryakant Pradhan’s bowling.
Young Dhruv Shorey (29) showed patience as he put up a 71-run stand with skipper Gambhir. Shorey did all the hardwork to be trapped leg before by Poddar’s off-break.
Nitish Rana (5) was dismissed cheaply after which young Pant walked in. Courtesy Pant-Gambhir duo, Delhi stacked up 114 runs in 19.3 overs. Pant was severe on all the bowlers as the title contenders pushed up the rate.
Once Pant was dismissed by Dhiraj caught by Senapati and Gambhir was caught by Anurag sarangi off Poddar, three short of his 150, Delhi were in a spot at 274 for 5 with only 37 run lead.