Anti-climax at Kotla
Tame draw after fog delays start of play by almost two hours. Debjeet Kundu reports.cricket Updated: Nov 21, 2011 01:57 IST
With a target of 218, the visitors called it a day at 129 for three. Even though the boys from Chennai went home smiling with three points, it was Delhi who could take pride in bringing a lopsided affair on Day 1 to veer towards a possible result - even a win - on Day 4.
It was a Sunday morning but many had pulled themselves out of the bed to catch the early morning action on one of the greenest and unpredictable pitches that Kotla had seen in recent times. But the sacrifice wasn't worth it. Fog delayed the start by nearly two hours.
Starting with a lead of 139 and five wickets in hand, Delhi wanted to add another 100 runs to the tally. Though it didn't happen, the 218-run lead, courtesy Punit Bisht's (53) and a few hits to the boundary by Pradeep Sangwan, ensured the hosts weren't off the target by much as they folded up for 311.
Lakhshmipathy Balaji added three more wickets to his kitty to return with seven scalps from the match.
The yawns and sighs disappeared as a target of 219 in 49 overs (including the mandatory 15 overs) evoked some excitement. But Tamil Nadu thought differently.
Sending in Arun Karthik instead of an injured Abhinav Mukund to partner Murali Vijay, the visitors would have hoped for a better start. But a run out and some great bowling by Pravinder Awana left them stranded at 35 for two.
“You need time to settle on this wicket, and our plans didn't work,” said Balaji on the tame draw. Whatever the “plan” was, it definitely wasn't to go for the kill. Dinesh Karthik (52), who later blamed the "lost hours" for the tame result, made a late dash, but it was 10 overs too late.
“Only they can say why they didn't go for the chase,” said Delhi skipper Mithun Manhas, who was “prepared to take the last 15 overs” if that produced a result. “Who'd want to have just one point if there're five on offer at home,” added Manhas.