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Friday, September 26, 2008

Irani Cup 2008: Third Day Report

Delhi needs 265 more runs to win the Irani Cup 2008 match, while Rest of India needs seven wickets to clinch victory in the match. So, at the end of the third day, Rest of India seems to be in driving seat, even though Delhi still has their in-form opener Gautam Gambir in the wicket batting on 51 at stumps of the third day. Earlier, Rest of India’s second innings stopped at 302, setting a winning target of 378 runs for Delhi team. Delhi’s second innings reached at 113 for 3 with Harbhajan Singh picking up the wicket of Rajat Bhatia in the last delivery of the day.

Courtesy of two half centuries from Rahul Dravid and wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Rest of India’s second innings crossed the 300-run mark. Rahul Dravid looked to come back in form ahead of the test series against Australia as the Karnataka batsman played an excellent innings of 69 with 6 boundaries. Badrinath looked to play a big score, but the batsmen lost momentum being got out for 36 off Ishant Sharma. No other middle order batsmen could play well, except Mahendra Singh Dhoni who played a crucial innings of 84 off 113 balls with 12 boundaries and an over-boundary.

Leg-spinner Chetanya Nanda is the most successful Delhi bowler with five wickets. Ishant Sharma took three, while Nehra and Sangwan picked up a wicket each. Chasing a target of 378, Delhi did not have a good start as Captain Virender Sehwag got out for 3 and Kohil failed to build a good partnership with Gambhir being the second victim of Zaheer Khan. However, Gautam Gambhir and Rajat Bhatia added 76 runs for the third wicket. Their partnership started looking dangerous, but Harbhajan Singh brought a much-anticipated break through for Rest of India, picking up the wicket of Rajat Bhatia in the final ball of the day.

So, I think, Rest of India has better chance in the match, but if Gautam Gambhir can carry on batting for one and half or two sessions tomorrow, and get enough support from the middle order, then Delhi still has a real chance to win the match.

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