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Ranji Trophy: Mumbai in control against Delhi

Last updated on: January 04, 2010 20:15 IST

Abhishek Nayar's 156 coupled with a sedate 69 by Iqbal Abdulla to give holders Mumbai firm control of their Ranji Trophy semi-final match against long-time rivals Delhi on the second day in Mumbai.

Resuming at their overnight 329 for four, the 38-time winners boosted their first innings tally to a huge 500 and then reduced the visitors to 85 for three at stumps.

The visitors should have been four wickets down had not Mumbai captain Wasim Jaffer grassed an edge from his counterpart Rajat Bhatia when the Delhi skipper was just one in a team score of 37 for three.

Bhatia (27 not out) remained unconquered along with opener Shikhar Dhawan (36 not out) when the day's play was called off at the Brabourne Stadium.

Delhi looked down the barrel at close, trailing Mumbai by a whopping 415 runs with not many top-level batsmen left to do the tough job on Tuesday.

Usman Malvi, Ajit Agarkar and Avishkar Salvi accounted for the wickets of opener Mayank Tehlan (5), Aditya Jain (11) and the experienced Mithun Manhas (5) respectively to reduce Delhi to 35 for three.

The left-handed Dhawan, who has struck six fours in his 78-ball unbeaten knock, and Bhatia stemmed the rot with an unfinished stand of 50 runs.

The Mumbai total was built mainly around Abhishek Nayar's fine 156, made in 434 minutes, off 244 balls with the help of 12 fours and three sixes. The Mumbai batsmen, including Nayar who batted freely last evening, decided this morning to wear down the Delhi bowlers and kept the visitors on the field for the first two sessions.

Agarkar, unbeaten on 57 at stumps on Sunday, could add only six runs and then Ramesh Powar (16) was also prised out quite cheaply to give Delhi hopes before they were frustrated by left-hander Iqbal Abdulla who batted for more than three hours while making 69 before being out.

Abdulla, who faced 117 balls and struck eight fours, put on 80 runs with Nayar to take the score close to the 450 mark after the two came together when Mumbai were 367 for six at the fall of Powar, who was bowled by Vikash Mishra.

Neither Ishant Sharma, who got rid off Agarkar early in the morning, nor the other bowlers could make much impression on this seventh wicket duo before Nayar gave the charge to left-arm spinner Mishra and was caught at wide long on after lunch.

Delhi sent back Vinayak Samant cheaply but were then denied another wicket till the end of second session by Abdulla and Usman Malvi (20) who ensured the score neared 500 with a half-century stand.

Malvi was dismissed by Mishra who also accounted for the wicket of Abdulla to finish with four for 89. Sharma was the other impressive performer with three for 77 while Parwinder Awana (2/92) and Bhatia (1/53) also got among the wickets.

Brief score:
Mumbai: 500 all out in 140.1 overs (A Nayar 156, O Khanvilkar 70, I Abdulla 69; V Mishra 4/89, I Sharma 3/77)
Delhi: 85 for 3 wickets in 26 overs (S Dhawan 36 n.o.; A Agarkar 1/14)

Dravid smashes double ton
Bangalore: An unconquered 209 by Rahul Dravid put Karnataka in the driver's seat on day two of their Ranji Trophy semi-final against Uttar Pradesh at the M Chinnaswamy stadium.

Resuming at their overnight 255 for four and running up a mammoth first innings score of 575 for seven declared, Karnataka struck twice in seven overs to have Mohammad Kaif's Uttar Pradesh staggering on the ropes at 11 for two.

Shivkant Shukla (0) was done in by a direct hit by Amit Verma from short covers as he scampered to the non-strikers for a sharp single.

A wee bit later, Bhuvaneswar Kumar (0) was beaten for pace and trapped right in front of the wickets by the genuinely quick Abhimanyu Mithun.

Monday's double hundred was Dravid's fifth, following his 200 not out against Andhra, 215 vs Uttar Pradesh, 210 vs Hyderabad and 214 vs Mumbai.

While lasting 500 minutes at wicket and consuming 340 deliveries, the Karnataka skipper took his aggregate to 4874 runs in 48 matches.

Dravid was at his stodgy best, grinding the UP attack to dust on a wicket where the ball rarely rose waist high.

Though run-making was difficult, the soon-to-be 37-year-old dug his heels in to ensure that Karnataka ran up a huge total and set themselves up for a place in the January 11-15 final.

Dravid was the cog around which the Karnataka innings thrived. He was involved in three substantial partnerships -- 100 for the sixth wicket with Amit Verma (42), 107 for the seventh with C M Gautam (44) and an unbroken 101 for the eighth wicket with Sunil Joshi (41 not out).

Amit enlivened the game in the first session with some enterprising strokeplay, but eventually was stumped by Amir Khan, giving Piysuh Chawla his only wicket.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Gautam got his eye in, but failed to take a leaf out of ebullient partner's book of patience. Having made 44, he fell to the listless left arm spin off Praveen Gupta.

Brief score:
Karnataka: 575 for seven in 176 overs (R Dravid 209 n.o., M Pandey 66, K Pawan 52; RP Singh 3/93)
UP: 11 for 2 wickets in 7 overs (T Srivastava 11 n.o.; A Mithun 1/0)
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