New Delhi, Dec 8: Delhi's new ball bowlers Parvinder Awana and Sumit Narwal wielded their willows to great effect as the hosts got themselves to an advantageous position against Saurashtra on the second day of their group B Ranji Trophy cricket match here today.
Courtesy entertaining half-centuries from Awana (61) and Narwal (65), Delhi reached a respectable first innings score of 442 in 127.2 overs. In reply, Saurashtra reached 152/6 at stumps, 290 runs still in arrears. To save the follow-on Saurashtra still need 141 runs.
Having nicely warmed himself up with big hits, Awana (3/20) provided the initial breakthroughs while, Rajat Bhatia (3/24), also chipped in with useful scalps rocking the middle order. Skipper Gautam Gambhir (147) could add only 24 to his overnight score of 123 before being run out while going for a misjudged single.
The skipper's knock lasted seven hours and 10 minutes, facing 308 balls with 18 boundaries and two sixes. With Awana, he added 54 for the seventh wicket.
Once Gambhir was gone with the scoreboard reading 313 for seven, Awana started chancing his arms and he was able to plonk his front foot and hit through the line. Six fours and three sixes were hit in 69 deliveries as he took the team score past 350.
When Awana was finally out, Delhi were nine down for 368, but left-hander Narwal had other ideas. He has a Ranji Trophy century under his belt and he showed his big-hitting prowess with five sixes and three fours. With Navdeep Saini (13), Narwal added 74 runs for the final wicket.
Three of his five sixes were hit off left-arm spinner Dharmendra Jadeja in the arc between mid wicket and long on. He got back-to-back reprieves, which got him a six and a four, before he became Sudeep Tyagi's (3/95) third victim.
Awana then quickly removed openers Chirag Pathak (1) and Sagar Jogiyani (12) with fuller deliveries that were snapped up by Unmukt Chand and Puneet Bisht. Bhatia then took two wickets to reduce Saurashtra to 79 for four. Divyaraj Chauhan (40 batting) and Arpit Vasvada (38) added 57 runs for fifth wicket before Awana removed Vasavada.
Delhi 442 in 127.2 overs (Gautam Gambhir 147, Sumit Narwal 65, Parvinder Awana 61, S Tyagi 3/95) Saurashtra 152/6 in 52 overs (Divyaraj Chauhan 40 batting, Arpit Vasavada 38, P Awana 3/20, Rajat Bhatia 3/24).