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Patel too good for Delhi

There was a question mark right from the start over Delhi attack’s ability to pick up 20 wickets. On Friday, the doubts gained further ground as Gujarat thrashed the visitors to post a mammoth total of 520, with Niraj Patel smashing an unbeaten 228.

cricket Updated: Nov 12, 2011 00:05 IST
Shalabh Manocha

There was a question mark right from the start over Delhi attack’s ability to pick up 20 wickets. On Friday, the doubts gained further ground as Gujarat thrashed the visitors to post a mammoth total of 520, with Niraj Patel smashing an unbeaten 228. Delhi, in reply, were 118 for three, 252 runs short of avoiding the follow-on, at the draw of stumps on Friday.

As Gujarat resumed at 358 for six, Delhi sorely missed a seamer who could have backed up Pradeep Sangwan and Parvinder Awana. The inadequacy was soon exposed as Patel and off spinner Salil Yadav continued without being tested at al. Gujarat didn't lose any wicket in the first session as Patel reached 150 and Yadav helped himself to a half century. Patel, who had been criticised for playing slow in the first match, came out all guns blazing after lunch. He, along with Yadav, launched a ferocious attack, as Delhi watched helplessly.

An otherwise off-colour Sangwan managed the breakthrough in the 45th over when he trapped Yadav lbw. By then, the two had however added 174 runs. Patel then made the lower order play around him to reach his highest total in the Ranji Tophy. It was left to left-arm spinner Vikas Mishra to pick up the last three wickets, and finish with a seven-wicket haul in his marathon 35 overs.

Delhi lost Shikhar Dhawan as early as in the seventh over when he poked at an away delivery from Amit Singh, and Patel took an easy catch. Milind Kumar fell soon to a poor shot off Faizal Dudhat. Mithun Manhas fell to the same bowler as Unmukt Chand (72) and Rajat Bhatia (21) saw off the day without further damage.