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Advantage Delhi after Manhas ton

india Updated: Dec 09, 2009 00:28 IST
Anam Arsalan
Anam Arsalan
Hindustan Times
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It was a fine day in office for the Delhi players at the Roshanara ground, though not exactly the start they wanted. First, skipper Virat Kohli lost the toss to Maharashtra and then they had to don the pads, probably against their wish.

But once they had played through the morning chill, the job became rather mundane with the ball coming on to the bat with ease.

And that saw Delhi pile up 344 for 4 with the bulk of the scoring done by centurion Mithun Manhas and Rajat Bhatia.

Maharashtra got the wicket they were looking for in the first session, packing off Kohli early. A cut was well taken by Sangram Atitkar in the slips and the scoreboard read 42 for two.

Before him, Aditya Jain gave away his wicket to Jitendra Patil. An edge was neatly pouched up by wicketkeeper Rohit Motwani. At lunch, the hosts were 89 for three.

But veterans Manhas and Bhatia came to the fore and stitched together a 256-run partnership spanning two sessions.

This despite the fact that Bhatia was down with a hamstring injury.He was tended to by the physio, but was still forced to take a runner in Ankur Julka.

However, that did little to dampen his spirits.

If singles were hard to come by, he went for the big hits. A straight six off offie Ganesh Gaikwad paved the way for a big total on board.

The two were still going steady when it was time for tea and the Delhi scoreboard read a decent 205.

Manhas continued to bat with ease. The third session saw him reach his century. Manhas remained unbeaten on 166 and displayed a kind of temperamaent which is fast becoming obsolete in the days of T20.

But finally Bhatia departed. One wrong pick and he was walking back on 99.

A nervous Bhatia tried to touch a Fallah delivery that could have been judged wide and ended up losing his wicket, caught behind by Motwani.

Barring the ball on which Bhatia got out, there wasn’t a single shot that could be called rash.

The bat more often than not remained straight and the impact saw the ball glancing away in comfort — a perfect game for the connoisseurs, if there were any.