Advantage Baroda

Baroda No. 3 Abhimanyu Chauhan wears several feathers in his hat. When he is not playing cricket, the computer programmer helps design websites for an NGO and at other times makes himself available at another NGO that helps impart skill-based training to the visually impaired. On Saturday, he did not spare any philanthropic concerns for Delhi, smashing an unbeaten 82 that contained 14 boundaries.

Crafting a much-needed partnership of 143 with skipper Ambati Rayudu (83 n.o, 13x4), Chauhan strengthened Baroda's cause as they ended Day One on 252 for three. Chauhan has been in top form this season, with a hundred and a fifty coming into this third round Group B match at Ferozeshah Kotla. Delhi had an attack that consisted of five fast bowlers, but Chauhan never looked rusty on the Kotla track. After starting off cautiously, Chauhan delivered appropriate treatment to every ball that deserved to be punished. He was also helped by the fact that former India bowler Ashish Nehra walked off the field after bowling just six overs.

Baroda were 46 for one when Chauhan walked in to bat. The top-order batsman is a self-confessed tennis fan and said that he treated each period of the day as a set. He said as soon as he took his guard, his brain signaled 'love all' and the real game began. At the stroke of lunch, he was unbeaten on 16, batting alongside opener Aditya Waghmode. The mini-battle won, he went on to stitch a 55-run stand for the second wicket. At 101 for one, Baroda lost two wickets in the space of two overs as Rajat Bhatia struck. Chauhan kept taking the match session by session, or set by set as he puts it, and with Rayudu, another batsman in form, denied Delhi for the rest of the day.

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