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Delhi on a high as Shikhar fires

india Updated: Nov 05, 2009 14:52 IST
Subhash Rajta

There was little change in the script on Wednesday. The Delhi batsmen continued piling on the runs, the Baroda bowlers looked as listless as on Tuesday, and the umpires called another bowler for throwing — this time left-arm spinner Rajesh Pawar.

Quite expectedly, Delhi had strolled to an unbeatable position, if not to an outright winning one, with 591 runs on the board by the time Baroda managed to dismiss them. Baroda, in reply, were 21 for no loss when umpires called it a day.

The only point of interest on a rather dull day, other than umpires no-balling Pawar, was the double-century by Delhi opener Shikhar Dhawan.

It would have been easy to get complacent and lose concentration with an overnight century already under his belt and the attack almost pedestrian with Veragi and Pawar taken off.

Dhawan, however, knuckled down to compile his maiden double hundred, though not before getting another reprieve at 149 this morning.

Mayank Tehlan and Yogesh Nagar also helped themselves to easy half-centuries after Rajat Bhatia went early in the morning for 78.

Tehlan, in particular, looked good and played some fine strokes, and that too when the Baroda bowlers had their tails up immediately after removing Bhatia.

But once umpires no-balled Pawar in his first over, the Baroda attack lost all hope and zest, and the contest thereafter was reduced to a farce.

Pawar would have been the key to Baroda’s fortunes. Instead, the responsibility to shoulder the attack fell on Yusuf Pathan and other part-timers like Rakesh Solanki and Jacob Martin after Baroda took Pawar off after the call and didn’t bring in Veragi at all.

Pathan had to send down a staggering 46.4 overs in the innings, and had to ice his shoulder at tea.

Delhi didn’t go really hard after the depleted attack. They probably must have sensed that anything less than 600 on this placid wicket would be dangerous, for Baroda have a strong batting line-up.

It was only well after they had crossed 500 that the batsmen tried to step up the pace, and fell for 591.