File photo: Manan Sharma was Delhi’s best bowler with 3 for 58. © Manan Sharma

File photo: Manan Sharma was Delhi’s best bowler with 3 for 58. © Manan Sharma

Delhi missed a great chance to register a win over Assam as the visitors managed to hold on for a point in their Group A encounter on the last day of the opening round of the Ranji Trophy 2017-18 on Monday (October 9).

Meanwhile, the Hyderabad v Maharashtra was abandoned without a ball being bowled due to poor conditions.

Delhi v Assam in New Delhi

Assam narrowly escaped with a draw as Delhi, chasing 79 for a win, fell 30 runs short at the Feroz Shah Kotla.

Delhi could face only eight overs in their chase, which ended on 49 for 2 with Unmukt Chand unbeaten on 25 off 22 and Krishna Das, the right-arm pacer, taking both wickets. But with time having run out, that was the end of the match, much to Delhi’s displeasure.

Assam, resuming on an overnight 60 for 3 in 31 overs, stretched their second innings to 255 all out in 108.4 overs. They didn’t stretch their lead to much, but took up 77.4 overs which played a crucial part in ensuring a draw and not giving Delhi enough time to chase down the target.

Assam’s first innings had brought a similar score of 258, to which Delhi had responded with 435 all out, driven by centuries from Gautam Gambhir and Nitish Rana.

Assam began the final day still trailing by 117 runs. Sibsankar Roy’s 87 and Wasiqur Rahman’s 63 were the standout innings in their second dig, with the duo’s patience ensuring there was no collapse. Roy’s stay spanned 222 balls, while Rahman stuck around for 168 balls.

Roy, who had come in at No.3, held the first half of the innings together, while Rahman, the wicketkeeper who came in at No.6, was instrumental in the second half.

The two got together when Manan Sharma ended Tarjinder Singh’s stay, trapping the batsman lbw for 108-ball 28 for the first wicket of the day. That ended a 74-run fourth-wicket stand in 34.1 overs, leaving the visiting side 100 for 4.

Assam continued to resist, with Roy and Rahman putting on 61 runs in 25.2 overs. Manan then gave rise to some hope for Delhi, getting Roy and Sarupam Purkayastha in consecutive overs to leave Assam 167 for 5, still trailing by 10 runs. But Rahman stood firm, and the tail also stuck around. Rahman was eventually the the last man out, trapped lbw by Milind Kumar, the right-arm offspinner.

Manan was Delhi’s best bowler with 3 for 58, while Milind, who bowled only 3.4 overs, ended with 2 for 4. Navdeep Saini also had 2 for 56, while Pulkit Narang and Kulwant Khejroliya had one scalp each.

In Delhi’s chase, Krishna Das accounted for Anuj Rawat and Nitish Rana in the sixth over, but although Chand and Milind put on 22 unbroken runs in 2.2 overs, they didn’t have enough time to go on and force victory.

Points: Delhi 3, Assam 1

Hyderabad v Maharashtra in Hyderabad

Poor conditions due to heavy rains for the last several days meant the match at the Gymkhana grounds in Secunderabad was abandoned without a ball being bowled. The match had to be moved out of the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Uppal on account of the third and final Twenty20 International between India and Australia, on October 13. 

Uttar Pradesh v Railways in Lucknow

Railways stunned Uttar Pradesh to secure a remarkable 21-run on a dramatic penultimate day at the Ekana International Cricket Stadium, bowling UP out for 73. Read the full report here.