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Ojha century torments Delhi

cricket Updated: Dec 08, 2011 22:42 IST
Shalabh Manocha
Shalabh Manocha
Hindustan Times
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When Virender Sehwag was hammering away the West Indies bowlers, en route his double ton, some 15km away, another opener from Madhya Pradesh - Naman Ojha - was doing the same to Sehwag's state team, Delhi.

Ojha, who has a Delhi connection in the sense that he plays for the Daredevils in the Indian Premier League, on Thursday ensured that Delhi were kept on tenterhooks, as he scored a blazing century for the hosts, chasing 299 for a win in their Ranji Trophy Elite group B tie here.

However, Delhi's old warhorse, Rajat Bhatia, struck thrice before stumps to leave MP on 240 for 5, requiring 59 to win on the last day.

When the wicketkeeper-batsman came out bat, his team was under pressure, which increased in the second over after Parwinder Awana scalped two off two deliveries with just a run on the board. Awana first got opener Zafar Ali caught behind and then scalped Mohnish Mishra's wicket off the next ball. At lunch, MP were 33 for 2, but could have lost Ojha on 13 had Unmukt Chand pouched a sitter in second slip.

But after the break, Ojha and skipper Devendra Bundela sent Delhi on a leather hunt. Ojha, especially, was harsh on short and over-pitched deliveries. Bundela soon learned that cricket is a game of uncertainty, as he was bowled on 49 off a no-ball from Pradeep Sangwan. In the first innings too, he was out to a dubious decision.

Meanwhile, Ojha continued his assault, hitting left-arm spinner Vikas Mishra for a couple of sixes over long-on and followed it up with a four and a six off Bhatia. In the last session, Bhatia struck thrice - first to break the 186-run stand, dismissing Bundela, and then getting rid of Ojha on 107 and Jalaj Saxena - to bring Delhi back into the game.