Century at last for Virender Sehwag, Delhi in command

New Delhi: Virender Sehwag played an innings in complete contrast to his school of batsmanship as his 40th first-class century put Delhi in a comfortable position at the end of the second day in their group league match of the Ranji Trophy cricket tournament, here today.

Courtesy Sehwag’s 105 and an equal contribution from Unmukt Chand (105), who scored his second successive century, Delhi declared their first innings at 425 for six.

In reply, Gujarat were 34 for one at stumps in the 13 overs that they faced in the day.

Sehwag curbed his natural instincts at times as he was focussed cashing in on a good run of form that he is in currently after his 64 against Rajasthan.

There were the cuts, the drives and the pulls but completing a century off 145 balls is certainly slow by Sehwag’s standards. There were a couple of phases when he played the defensive game, gave bowlers the respect.

His best phase during four hour stay at the crease addition of 106 runs in just over 20 overs with Mithun Manhas (44, 62 balls, 8×4).

There were of course 14 boundaries and he reached his ton taking a single off left-arm spinner Pranjal Sutaria, who also dismissed him caught by Bhargav Merai.

“I believe Viru was never under any kind of pressure and is batting freely. If he played a game which is not his natural style, it shows his commitment for Delhi team. It was a type of century that the team expected from him,” chief coach Vijay Dahiya said.

One can expect a good contest in the next two days Gujarat have a fairly decent batting line-up capable of snatching three points but the pitch is getting lower and slower which certainly make scoring runs a dificult proposition.

Delhi, however started the day on a sedate note with Unmukt really making rough weather of the three runs that he needed to score to complete his milestone.

He took more than 45 minutes to complete his sixth century before he went for a pull shot off a short ball from Kushang Patel to get out. Unmukt batted three minutes short of five hours and faced 227 balls, hitting 13 fours and four sixes in the process.

Brief Scores: Delhi 1st Innings 425/6 decl (Virender Sehwag 105, Unmukt Chand 105, Jesal Karia 2/81)

Gujarat 1st Innings: 34/1 (Shivam Sharma 1/12).