HARYANA might not have the best batting line- up in the domestic circuit, but a fivewicket haul at the Ranji Trophy level can never be undermined.
And on Friday, Delhi pacer Ishant Sharma showed at the Roshanara Club Ground in the Capital that he still has it in him to ruffle a few feathers when he has his head in the right place.
Bowling an immaculate line and getting some disconcerting bounce from just short of the good length area, he -- in partnership with Rajat Bhatia -- ensured that the visitors managed just 138 in their first essay, after Delhi folded up for 201 in their first essay.
Delhi had a lead of 98 by the time stumps were drawn on the second day. Gautam Gambhir ( 26) and Unmukt Chand ( 9) were at the crease with Delhi's score in the second innings reading 35/ 0.
As coach Sanjeev Sharma had told MAIL TODAY on Thursday, Ishant would be the difference between the two sides. While he started off waywardly in the first over, he looked a completely different bowler second over onwards.
With the wicket at the Roshanara known to favour the pacers -- also one of the major reasons why skipper Gambhir wanted to play here -- all Ishant did was bowl in the right areas and let the ball do the rest. Pitching the ball consistently outside the channel of uncertainty -- slightly outside the off- stump -- he kept extracting disconcerting bounce.
And every time he pitched the ball up, it swung viciously.
The fact that Joginder Sharma ( 35) was the highest scorer for Haryana, clearly shows poor application by the visitors' batsmen.
Ishant ( 5/ 29) was ably supported by Bhatia ( 4/ 32) and Parvinder Awana ( 1/ 32). Awana was really unlucky as he kept troubling the Haryana batsmen, without much reward.
Brief scores: Delhi 201 & 35/ 0 ( Gautam Gambhir 26 not out); Haryana 138 ( Ishant Sharma 5/ 29, Rajat Bhatia 4/ 32)
Delhi have 98- run lead after visitors manage just 138 in first essay
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