The students of Babu Banarsi Das National Institute of Technology and Management couldn’t have asked for a better day out. Tuesday was their holiday and most of them could be seen witnessing their favourite stars playing at the Dr. Akhilesh Das Gupta Stadium.
Situated inside the campus, the stadium is the venue for the ongoing Ranji Trophy Super League match between Delhi and Uttar Pradesh. But in reality, it wasn’t just the big names who set the field alight, for, at the end of the day, it was young and not-so-famous Tanmay Srivastava who stole the limelight. His impeccable century helped UP reach 300 for 4 when bad light stopped play.
The man stood there for more than five hours, scoring an impressive 109. If endurance is the name of the game, he brought it out crystal clear, blocking down the quick bowlers and defending against spinners. But, Srivastava wasn’t doing just that, for when it came to going for the big hits, he didn’t fall behind either. Hitting as many as 13 boundaries, the player was equally just in his treatment of medium-pacers as well as spinners. Left-arm paceman Pradeep Sangwan tried to halt his dream run but in vain as Srivastava seemed to be in the zone. Spinners Abhishek Sharma and Mayank Tehlan too were
rendered ineffective. Delhi skipper Aakash Chopra helped the batsman’s cause by dropping him on 73 in the second session.
Perhaps the words of wisdom given to Srivastava by coach Gyanendra Pandey seemed to have has a salutary effect on the
batsman. “Sabar kar beta (have patience son),” shouted Pandey from the sidelines and Srivastava did not let his coach down.
Earlier, Delhi did manage to utilise the early morning conditions, packing off Shivakant Shukla early. An away moving
delivery clipped Shukla’s bat and Chopra performed the final rites at second slip. There wasn’t much for Delhi to cheer after Shukla’s dismissal as Srivastava and Raina carried on from there. The duo put on 124 for the second wicket to frustrate the opposition bowlers.
Raina, playing his usual self, put on 69 off 95 balls, decorating his innings with 10 fours. Finally, it was Awana who managed to get the better of him, when the scoreboard read 158 for 2. An inside edge crashed onto his stumps early in the second session and in came skipper Mohammad Kaif.
After a long day at the crease, the tired-looking Srivastava departed trying to play an innovative shot. Medium-pacer Rajat Bhatia, who out of sheer frustration took refuge in the good old spin, got one past Srivastava and onto the stumps. The 21-year-old was seen walking back as the UP scoreboard read 244 for 3.
Delhi had another reason to feel disappointed, as their in-from batsman Shikhar Dhawan fractured his thumb while fielding in the slips. Coach Vijay Dahiya said, “It’s a fracture and doctors have advised him rest for two to three weeks.”
Meanwhile, Chetanya Nanda has also been ruled out for the entire season as he would undergo elbow surgery shortly.