PACE THE ACE UP DELHI’S SLEEVE
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As Delhi took the second new ball immediately after the 80-over mark, it marked a contest between two fast bowlers from either side. But while one was toiling for a coveted five-wicket haul the other was on the receiving end, staying put on the Kotla wicket to save his team from the possibility of a follow-on. The batsman — Tamil Nadu skipper Laxmipathy Balaji — lost the contest.
His stumps were shattered even as he shouldered arms to an incutter from Parwinder Awana. Balaji was the eighth TN wicket to fall and one over later, Pawan Suyal had taken the final two wickets to bundle out the visitors for 226, .
Delhi have thus secured themselves three points and will take the field on the final day with a massive lead of 327 runs. Parwinder Awana ended the day with figures of 4 for 53 while Suyal returned with a three-wicket haul (3/76).
Key to those two bowlers' performance on a flat Kotla track, was skipper Shikhar Dhawan's decision to bowl them in short spells. Awana bowled at most five in a stretch, while Suyal bowled either three or four.
"We knew that these two are our main bowlers. So giving them breaks was important. Pawan has the strength to bowl at the same momentum provided he is used in small spells. Sumit Narwal and Rajat Bhatia contained the run flow and Awana and Suyal benefitted from their effort," said Dhawan.
Tamil Nadu resumed on 31 for 1 but Delhi got the upper hand right away when left-armer Suyal got the wicket of Baba Aparajith (25, 31b, 5x4) in the first delivery of the day Day Three.
KB Arun Karthik (8, 27b, 1x4) would fall in the fourth over off Awana, to reduce the visitors to 45 for three in 12. 2 overs. With Suyal and Narwal having provided the early blows, Dhawan introduced his third seamer Narwal in an attempt to unsettle the Badrinath-Karthik partnership, which had batted resolutely for 92 minutes, adding 34 to the total. Narwal delivered by having S Badrinath (19, 67b, 4x4) caught behind after setting him up with a couple of sharp in-cutters.
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