Mumbai, Nov 25 (UNI) Sahil Kukreja (199) and Abhijit Nayar (93) helped defending champions set Delhi a challenging target of 387 runs for victory as the four-day Ranji Trophy Elite Division group 'A' match was poised evenly on the third and penultimate day at the Wankhede stadium here today.
Delhi, chasing 387 for victory, had made a solid start and ended the third day at 59 for no loss with Gautam Gambhir on 22 and Akash Chopra on 33, guarding the wicket for the hosts. Delhi now still need further 328 runs for victory in 90 overs with all ten wickets in hand. Mumbai earlier declared at 471 for nine.
Mumbai resumed the day on 154 for two with Sahil Kukreja's just 11 strokes gained 100 within first 20 minutes of the day. He faced 135 balls for his second Ranji ton and the innings was laced with 14 boundaries.
However, the hosts captain Amol Muzumdar was ill at ease against left arm seamer P Sangwan and finally fell for 7 being trapped in front of the wicket with a late inswinger from the bowler.
India one-day batsman Rohit Sharma had a forgetful match falling without opening his account edging a delivery from Sangwan to the keeper P Bisht to leave Mumbai in a spot of bother at 4 for 186. But the entry of Nayar changed all that and along with Kukreja added 174 runs in just 185 balls for the fifth wicket.
Nayar played his usual attacking cricket not afraid to take risks as he sent the Delhi fielders on a leather hunt. He specially targeted the leg spinner Chaintanya Nanda hitting him for a six and two fours in one over. In the same over Kukreja also square cut the bowler for a boundary as the two took 19 runs from the over.
Kukreja at the other end was also going on full steam as the two took Mumbai to safety and then saw that they could set a challenging total for Delhi in the second innings.
Both were however out when nearing milestones with Kukreja being out for 199 when Akash Chopra took a brilliant chance standing at second slip. Sangwan induced an edge from the bat of Kukreja which was taken by Chopra diving in front of the first slip. Kukreja's knock came in a stay of 272 balls and he hit 25 boundaries and a six.
Nayar was also dimissed when 7 shot of his 100 being bowled by Sangwan for 93 which came in just 96 balls and was studded with 11 boundaries and three sixers. Ajit Agarkar later on made a qiuck fire half century making 60 in 69 balls with seven boundaries and two sixers as Mumbai declared on 471 for nine. P Sangwan was once again the standout bowler for Delhi in the second innings also taking 5 for 102.
Having to play out 20 overs the Delhi openers played sensibly to see out the day at 59 for no loss with Aakash Chopra making 33 inclusive of six boundaries and Gambhir making 22 with three boundaries.