New Delhi, Dec. 26: Ishant Sharma bowled a sharp spell to polish off the tail after Simrajeet Singh's four-wicket burst, putting Delhi on the cusp of an innings victory against Hyderabad in their Ranji Trophy group A encounter.
After scoring 284 in their first innings, Delhi dismissed Hyderabad for 69 in just 29 overs with Ishant (4/19 in 10 overs) and Simarjeet (4/23 in 10 overs) sharing the spoils on day two. Left-arm seamer Pawan Suyal (2/25 in 8.4 overs) bowling from a four-step run-up also did his bit. Having enforced follow-on on another curtailed day due to solar eclipse, Delhi reduced the visitors to 20 for 2 in their second essay with seam bowling all-rounder Kunwar Bidhuri grabbing both the wickets.
Hyderabad still need to score 185 runs to avoid innings defeat with two days left in the game. The conditions were conducive for seam bowling as all Delhi pacers needed to do was pitch in the right areas and the lateral movement did the rest.
"My job was to support Ishant bhaiya by bowling tight lines. Initially, he was beating the batsmen but they took less risks against him. Perhaps, they thought they can attack me more and I got those wickets. Ishant bhaiya's brief was simple, pitch the ball in right areas," Simrajeet, who is a product of Madan Lal's academy, told reporters.
Initially, Ishant's was beating the bat at will but not getting the edges. Suyal on the other end drew the first blood, breaching opener Akshath Reddy's defence.
Simrajeet then trapped his Reddy's opening partner Tanmay Agarwal leg before and Hyderabad never recovered from the loss. The Hyderabad players looked intimidated by the pace and bounce generated by Ishant. He didn't go full tilt but a percentage effort, bowling within himself, was enough to scare the batsmen. Some of the lower-order Hyderabad players were retreating towards leg-stump in order to avoid getting hurt by Ishant's deliveries.
"They are not a below-par side just that there was help from the wicket," said Simarjeet, son of a former national level hockey player.
Earlier, Delhi lost their last four wickets for 15 runs after Shikhar Dhawan (140) was the eighth batsmen to be dismissed. Pacer M Ravi Kian took all four wickets in the morning.
Delhi 1st Innings 284 (Shikhar Dhawan 140, M Ravi Kiran 4/60, Mehedy Hassan 3/61). Hyderabad 1st Innings 69 in 29 overs (Ishant Sharma 4/19, Simarjeet Singh 4/23, Simrajeet Singh 2/25) and 20/2 (Kunwar Bidhuri 2/7).
Gujarat 127 and 210 (Manprit Juneja 53, Basil Thampi 5/56, Jalaj Saxena 3/54). Kerala 70 and (target 268) 26/0.
Bengal 1st Innings 289 (Abhishek Raman 112, CV Stephen 4/61, KV Sasikanth 4/78) vs Andhra.
Vidarbha 196/6 vs Punjab. No play on 2nd day.