Bengal, Delhi split points
Bengal and Delhi took one point each from this Ranji Trophy Group A match, their bid for a first innings lead thwarted by bad light and rain that made seven overs possible at Eden Gardens here on Thursday. After six rounds, Bengal are on 20 points and Delhi on 17.
When insufficient light stopped play for the second time at 9:34am on the final day, Delhi, resuming on their overnight score of 217/7, were on 242/7. Left-hander Jonty Sidhu was batting on 53 --- his first half-century of the season --- and Subodh Bhati on 26; their unbeaten 50-run stand instrumental in Bengal being unable to dismiss Delhi after having them on 192/7 on Wednesday.
“Unlike most batsmen from the north, Sidhu can stay at the wicket. Hopefully, in the next couple of years, he will be one of Delhi’s key batsmen,” said Delhi coach KP Bhaskar.
Sidhu,22, had scored 85 and 42 when Delhi visited last season after the top order had fallen cheaply in both innings. On Wednesday, he survived being leg-before because Mukesh Kumar had overstepped. He was on 34 and Delhi on 194/7.
Playing with the spin most of the time, Sidhu, on 49 overnight, and Bhati, who had resumed on seven, were getting easy runs off Manoj Tiwary and Shahbaz Ahmed. Twenty-five minutes into the day, the teams were called in when stand-in skipper Tiwary wanted to use pace bowlers. Play resumed at 9:28am but was stopped after one over by Mukesh Kumar with the new ball because the light had dropped again. A sharp spell of rain around noon led to stumps at 3:27pm because match officials felt parts of the outfield would have needed another hour to dry. Only 16.3 overs were possible on the last two days because of the weather.
“We lost three points here. (But) Six points each from our remaining games (away to Rajasthan and Punjab) should help us make the quarters. We are playing well and could have been in a better position but for bad weather here,” said Tiwary.
Delhi host Gujarat and Rajasthan to end group stage engagements. “If we can win our remaining games, maybe with a bonus point, we can qualify to the quarter-finals,” said Bhaskar.