Vadodara, Sep 25 (UNI) A fiery spell by Munaf Patel (3/23) sent Ranji champions Delhi reeling at 131 for five wickets at lunch in their first innings on the second day of their Irani Trophy match against Rest of India here today.
With all the five top order batsmen -- Akash Chopra (42), Gautam Gambhir (5), skipper Virendra Sehwag (43), Virat Kohli (4) and Mithun Manhas (4) back in the pavillion by lunch, Delhi now find the going tough as they still trail by 121 runs to ROI's first innings total of 252.
Resuming at the overnight score of 21 without loss, Delhi suffered an early jolt when Zaheer Khan claimed opener Gambhir's wicket with his very first delivery thanks to a brilliant effort by Rahul Dravid at first slip.
Even as skipper Sehwag and opener Chopra provided a good foundation to the innings with their 57-run second wicket stand, none of the Delhi batsmen could stay at the crease for long after Munaf was brought into the attack after 18 overs.
While Munaf struck twice in quick succession, removing Chopra and Virat Kholi in a span of four overs with spectacular catches by Md Kaif and keeper M S Dhoni, skipper Anil Kumble got the prized wicket of his Delhi counterpart Sehwag for 43 to reduce the opponents to 96 for four in 25.5 overs. Sehwag faced 57 balls to score 43 with three fours and the first six of the match which he hit straight over bowler Kumble.
Munaf's figure read an impressive 5-0-19-3 when he snared the wicket of Mithan Manhas for four as Dhoni showed his class behind the slumps.
Delhi, who were in a very precarious position losing half of their side for 102 runs in the 27th over, managed to reach 131 without any further loss before lunch with Rajat Bhatia on 12 and wicket keeper Punit Bisht on 15 at the crease.
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