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Maharashtra in Control Against Delhi; Mumbai Take Crucial Lead vs AP; Saurashtra Dominate Assam Bowling

Azim Kazi hit a patient hundred and was beautifully complemented by Ashay Palkar with an unbeaten 94 which put Maharashtra in a winning position from a near hopeless situation against Delhi on the second day of their Ranji Trophy group B match here on Wednesday.

At stumps, Maharashtra were 305 for 7 with a lead of 114 runs after Delhi were bowled out for 191 on the first day. The 211 run stand for the eighth wicket between Kazi (119 batting, 260 balls) and Palkar (94 batting, 240 balls) could prove to be a match-winning one for Maharashtra as Delhi have been hurt by pacer Mayank Yadav’s injury.

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Starting the day at 80 for 5, Maharashtra were quickly reduced to 94 for 7 within first hour by pacers Simarjeet Singh (3/58 in 31 overs) and Mayank (2/46 in 17.2 overs) but left-handed Kazi and Palkar frustrated the Delhi bowlers no end for nearly 78 overs (77.5) and plan to bat for a few hours more on the third day.

Mayank’s injury — hamstring pull — after first hour also meant that Delhi skipper Yash Dhull was hamstrung by having a specialist bowler short.

But no credit is enough for Kazi and Palkar, who played each ball on its merit and didn’t lose hope with only three wickets left and 98 runs required to take the first innings lead.

Left-arm spinner Vikas Mishra (0/75 in 23 overs) wasn’t potent enough and the off-spinners Nitish Rana (0/48 in 14 overs) and Lalit Yadav (0/22 in 11.4 overs) also couldn’t make any decisive inroads.

Dhull’s strategy to use two off-break bowlers to tackle Kazi didn’t work.

Both hit a couple of sixes each apart from 12 fours from Kazi and 11 from Palkar.

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Ishant Sharma (1/46 in 20 overs) might not have been expensive but didn’t look much threatening towards his latter spells.

Brief Scores In Pune: Delhi 191. Maharashtra 305/7 (Azim Kazi 119 batting, Ashay Palkar 94 batting, Simarjeet Singh 3/58, Mayank Yadav 2/58).

In Hyderabad: Hyderabad 395 (Tanmay Agarwal 135, Mickil Jaiswal 137, Ravi teja 72, L Vignesh 4/91, Sandeep Warrier 5/83). TN 203/0 (Sai Sudharshan 87 batting, Natayn Jagadeesan 116 batting).

In Vizianagaram: AP 238. Mumbai 290/6 (Arman Jaffer 116, Yashashvi Jaiswal 45, Ajinkya Rahane 44, KV saiskanth 3/50).

In Guwahati: Assam 286 (Rahul Haarika 90, Riyan Parag 72, Chetan Sakariya 5/40). Saurashtra 313/3 (Harvik Desai 108, Jay Gohil 177 batting).

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