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Unmukt, Gambhir provide solid start

Back in form after his fluent century against Rajasthan, Unmukt Chand made full use of playing against below-par Gujarat attack with an attractive unbeaten 97 that took Delhi to a comfortable 178 for one on the first day of a Ranji Trophy cricket match on Sunday.

With only 53 overs of play possible on another fog-hit day, Delhi batsmen made full use of a low and slow Feroz Shah Kotla track as Unmukt, in company of skipper Gautam Gambhir (66), added 171 runs for the opening stand.

Unmukt looked confident from the onset as he punished both pacers and spinners alike. When medium pacer Ishwar Chaudhary dropped one short, he was quick to rock back and play the perfect pull-shot behind square for maximum. He hit three more sixes, two off off-spinner Jesal Karia’s bowling and one off left-arm spinner Pranjal Sutaria apart from 12 boundaries in 170 balls.

Gambhir, on his part was a bit scratchy to begin with but grew in confidence watching his opening partner in full flow. He also hit two sixes apart from five fours. One came off Sutaria and other off seamer Kushang Patel. The India discard should be cursing himself for not converting into a big hundred as he missed the line of a Karia delivery to be bowled. Gambhir faced 143 deliveries.

The absence of Axar Patel did hurt Gujarat, who are also handicapped in the batting department due to the absence of their regular skipper Parthiv Patel, who pulled out complaining of cervical pain. The two new ball bowlers, Rush Kalaria and Kushang, were at best military medium and they even failed to hit the deck properly which meant that batsmen had all the time in the world to play their strokes. BRIEFSCORES Delhi 1st innings 178/1 (Chand 97*, Gambhir 66) against Gujarat.

RANJI ROUND-UP
At Guwahati Assam vs Himachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh 1st innings 282 for two (Ankush Bains 156, Paras Dogra 76)
At Kolkata Bengal vs Mumbai, Mumbai 1st innings 306 for four (Shreyas Iyer 153, Abhishek Nayar 65; Veer Pratap Singh 2/79)
At Rohtak Haryana vs Odisha, Haryana 1st innings 127 all out (Abhimanyu Khod 38; Deepak Behera 3/33) Odisha 1st innings 39 for no loss
At Hyderabad Hyderabad vs Services, Services 1st innings 235 for seven (Soumik Chatterjee 70, Deepak Punia 61*; Akash Bhandari 4/64)
At Dhanbad Jharkhand vs Kerala, Jharkhand 1st innings 246 for six (Virat Singh 100; Rohan Prem 2/29, K.S. Monish 2/59)
At Gwalior Madhya Pradesh vs Baroda, Baroda 1st innings 291 for six (Saurabh Wakaskar 94, Deepak Hooda 82; Avesh Khan 2/34).
At Jaipur Rajasthan vs Vidarbha, Vidarbha 1st innings 236 for six (Shalabh Shrivastava 105, S. Badrinath 47; Pankaj Singh 4/85)
At Rajkot Punjab vs Saurashtra, Punjab 327/3 (Yuvraj Singh 95*)
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