Pune: Gautam Gambhir and Kunal Chandela’s solid opening partnership helped Delhi dominate terms against Bengal on the second day of the Ranji Trophy quarter-final clash in Pune on Monday.
It didn’t take much time for the Delhi bowlers to skittle out Bengal and they did so, bowling them out for just 286 runs. Already with momentum on their side, openers Gautam Gambhir and Kunal Chandela took the fight to Bengal as they register a magnificent and a flawless 232-run partnership. Pacers Ashoke Dinda and Mohammad Shami’s failure to provide the initial breakthroughs was capitalised upon by the Delhi openers, who dictated terms against the Bengal bowlers.
After 61.3 overs, Boddupalli Amit got the first wicket after he sent back Chandela for a well-made 113 with 18 fours and one six. Dhruv Shorey, coming in at number three couldn’t capitalise on the brilliant start provided by the openers and fell to Dinda for 12 runs. Gambhir held fort at the other end and justified his class as a champion batsman as he hit 21 fours en route to his 127.
But Mohammad Shami had the last laugh after he dismissed the former Indian international in the last ball of the day, leaving Delhi at 271/3, 15 runs short of Bengal’s first innings total.
In the other semi-final, Karun Nair came to Karnataka’s rescue with a stylish unbeaten knock of 148 runs as wickets continued to fall around him. Wicket-keeper batsman CM Gautam also played a crucial knock of 73 runs while Rajneesh Gurbani scalped five wickets to help keep Vidarbha in the game, at the Eden Gardens on Monday.
Kolkata: Delhi 271/3 (Gautam Gambhir 127, Kunal Chandela 113; Boddupalli Amit 1/47) trail Bengal 286 all out (Sudip Chatterjee 83, Anustup Majumdar 47; Navdeep Saini 3/55) by 15 runs.
Pune: Karnataka 294/8 (Karun Nair 148 n.o, CM Gautam 73; Rajneesh Gurbani 5/90) lead Vidarbha 185 by 109 runs.