Navdeep, Vikas get Delhi into quater-final of Ranji Trophy
New Delhi, Nov 19 (PTI) Navdeep Saini's lion-hearted effort complemented by Vikas Mishra's disciplined bowling saw Delhi crush Maharashtra by an innings and 61 runs in a group A encounter to ensure quarter-final berth in the Ranji Trophy.
Delhi now will play an inconsequential final away league encounter against Hyderabad having already ensured a last eight berth with 24 points from five games.
The other team that is set to qualify from this group is Karnataka (23 from 4 games till today) as none of the remaining states have any mathematical chance whatsoever.
In reply to Delhi's first innings score of 419, Maharashtra scored 99 and 259 in their two innings as the match ended on the third day itself.
Delhi got 12 wickets on the day, with Rahul Tripathi's 78-ball-106 being the highlight of Maharashtra's otherwise disastrous outing.
Saini bowled 18 overs in three spells to finish with 4 for 57 while Mishra had 4 for 90 in 25.3 overs.
Skipper Ishant Sharma also bowled at a brisk pace to chip in with 2 for 33 in 11 overs. With 20 wickets from four games, Ishant is nicely warmed-up for the second Test starting in Nagpur from November 24.
Starting the day at 59 for 8, Maharashtra batted for 10 overs adding another 40 runs before Mishra castled Chirag Khurana (29) for his only wicket in the first innings and Manan Sharma (2/22) then had last man Nikit Dhumal stumped by Rishabh Pant.
Made to follow-on, Ishant got into the act straightaway trapping Murtaza Trunkwala (0) leg before.
Naushad Sheikh was trapped leg before by a Mishra arm- ball before Ankit Bawne (18) and Ruturaj Gaikwad (21) added 24 runs for the third wicket.
It was IPL star Triptahi, who did gave his side something to cheer as he repeatedly muscled the spinners through the deep mid-wicket region hitting four sixes along with 12 boundaries.
His hundred came off 67 balls largely due to the attacking field set by Ishant. With a 320 run first innings lead, the hosts were not really bothered about Tripathi's counter-attacking knock.
Saini bowling a fuller length on the off-middle channel consistently troubled the Maharashtra batsmen. Three of his four victims were bowled as the ball moved a shade either way after pitching on these occasions.
"My stint with India A team has proved to be fruitful as I have had lengthy discussions about my bowling with coach Rahul Dravid. Rahul sir told me about subtle things that needs to be done at the highest level in order to get more wickets. The away series against South Africa and matches against New Zealand A at home has made me a better bowler," Saini said after the match.
He was also happy that his pace did not drop during the second and even third spell.
"I have worked hard on my strength and conditioning during off-season, which is paying dividends. I am able to maintain the same intensity in my pace," said Saini.
In Delhi: Delhi 419. Maharashtra 99 and (f/o) 259 (Rahul Tripathi 106, Navdeep Saini 4/57, Vikas Mishra 4/90)
Delhi won by an innings and 61 runs.
Points: Delhi 7. Maharashtra 0.
In Kanpur: Karnataka 1st Innings 655 (Manish Pandey 238, Dega Nischal 190, Imtiaz Ahmed 6/110)
UP 1st Innings 243/5 (Suresh Raina 0, Umang Sharma 89, Shivam Chaudhary 57, Rinku Singh 57, Ronit More 2/54)
In Guwahati: Hyderabad 1st Innings 326.
Railways 136 and 300/7 (Amit Sinha 96, Rajjakuddin Ahmed 75, M Ravi Kran 2/61)