Delhi's bowling appeared a weak link to Tamil Nadu ahead of the contest. However, the young and inexperienced attack has not only given Delhi the first innings lead but also a chance for an outright win.
The visitors had Tamil Nadu gasping for breath at 122 for 5 in their second innings at the end on Thursday. Still, there was a lot of work to be done on Friday. Badrinath was going strong on 45, and had C. Ganapathy, R Ashiwn - both decent batsmen - and others to give him company.
The visitors needed to keep up the pressure and their spinners - Vikas Mishra and Manoj Chauhan - did exactly that. Both of them bowled with amazing control to make Badrinath and Ganapathy sweat for every run. Mishra stuck to a nagging line and length - he gave just 50 runs off 38 overs and picked up four wickets.
Chauhan, the debutant off-spinner, created quite a few chances. He made Ganapathy dance to his tunes, but was unfortunate not to get his wicket. In that light, it is poetic justice when he uprooted the stump with a direct throw from mid-on to catch Ganapathy inches short of his crease.
That run-out crushed whatever little chance the hosts had of coming closer to Delhi's first innings total. While Badrinath laboured to his hundred, the batsmen at the other end couldn't last long. While Chauhan and Mishra picked up a wicket each today, left-arm seamer Pawan Suyal returned to pick up the last two wickets, including that of Badrinath, to wrap up the innings at just 208, giving Delhi a handy lead of 110 runs.
At the end of play on Friday, Delhi had scored 122 for the loss of two wickets, and had an overall lead of 232 runs. With Dhawan playing on well-made 76 and Virat to follow, Delhi will look for quick runs and then have a go at the hosts.
Unmukt leads Delhi into u-19 final
Delhi entered the final of the Vinoo Mankad Trophy beating Maharashtra by seven wickets. The main architect of Delhi's win was their skipper Unmukt Chand with his fine hundred.
Brief scores: Maharashtra: 218 all out (A. Bhawne 76, P Negi 4/35), Delhi 220/3 (U Chand 105).