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Bisht's double century puts hosts on top

Seamers Ashish Nehra and Irfan Pathan may have overshadowed Punit Bisht on Wednesday, but on Thursday, the Delhi wicketkeeper scored a blazing double century under pressure to be the star performer on the third day of the Ranji Trophy Elite Group 'B' game against Baroda at the Ferozshah Kotla.

cricket Updated: Dec 01, 2011 23:31 IST
Shalabh Manocha

Seamers Ashish Nehra and Irfan Pathan may have overshadowed Punit Bisht on Wednesday, but on Thursday, the Delhi wicketkeeper scored a blazing double century under pressure to be the star performer on the third day of the Ranji Trophy Elite Group 'B' game against Baroda at the Ferozshah Kotla.

During his unbeaten knock of 223 (407 minutes, 30x4, 2x6), Bisht not only ensured the hosts went past Baroda's 318, they were also in the driver's seat at stumps, having reduced the visitors to 81 for four in their second innings. Baroda trail by 16 runs.

Even though Bisht batted with the lower order, his partners played sensibly to lend support. Overnight 250 for six, the onus was on the diminutive player. But the way he handled the tail got reflected in the partnerships. He added 67 for the seventh wicket with Sunny Sehrawat, who was the first one to fall to Irfan Pathan.

Despite taking a few body blows with the new ball, the 56-run stand between Bisht and Ashish Nehra proved to be the game changer as the eighth-wicket stand ensured the hosts get at least three points from the match.

The partnership was broken by spinner Bhargav Bhatt, who also picked up Parwinder Awana's wicket. Bisht wasn't finished yet. He pulled, cut and paddled with ease to add another 67 runs with Vikas Mishra and reach his double ton. Irfan, who was surprisingly taken off the attack even though he looked like the only wicket-taking bowler, came on again in the 107th over to grab his seventh wicket of the innings in the form of Mishra. Delhi were all out for 415.

In Baroda's second innings, double strikes by Parvinder Awana and Rajat Bhatia raised Delhi's hopes of an outright win.