Ganesh Sathish smashed his 15th first-class hundred as defending champions Vidarbha produced a power-packed batting performance raising visions of an outright victory over a depleted Delhi after third day’s play in the Ranji Trophy group A encounter on Tuesday.
The seasoned campaigner scored an even 100 off 92 balls and added 148 runs for the unbroken fourth wicket stand with Akshay Wadkar (70 off 82 balls) in little over 24 overs.
Delhi, playing without an injured Ishant Sharma, looked listless on a placid track didn’t have the resolve to stop Vidarbha reaching 330 for 3 before setting a target of 347.
Delhi were 10 for no loss at stumps and will have to play out of their skins to get a point from the game.
For the hosts, a poor show in this match will certainly dent their hopes of qualifying among top five teams from the cross-pool (group A and B). On the otherhand, Vidarbha’s outright win will be a giant stride towards quarter-final.
Ishant’s absence had a demoralizing effect on the Delhi attack as Simarjeet Singh (0/68 in 17 overs) suddenly lacked penetration on a track that eased out considerably.
While Faiz Fazal (43 off 68 balls) and Sanjay Raghunath (57 off 153 balls) gave a steady start, Sathish, who hit 11 fours and two sixes got the advantage of facing friendly seam-up stuff from Nitish Rana and part-time off-spin from Lalit Yadav.
Wadkar on his part hit seven fours and the moment Sathish reached his hundred, Vidarbha made a sporting declaration.
In Delhi: Vidarbha 179 and 330/3 decl (Ganesh Sathish 100 not out, Akshay Wadkar 70). Delhi 163 and 10/0.
In Kalyani: In Bengal 635/7 decl. Hyderabad 171; 46.3 overs (Jaweed Ali 72; Shahbaz Ahmed 4/26, Mukesh Kumar 3/37, Akash Deep 3/66) and 161; 46.2 overs (Ravi Teja 53; Akash Deep 4/38). Bengal won by an innings and 303 runs. Points: Bengal 7, Hyderabad 0.
In Valsad: Gujarat 281 and 167. Punjab 229 and 87/4.