Day belongs to the Mishras
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The spotlight stayed on the Mishras all day. First it was Delhi's left-arm spinner Vikas, who dominated play, later the more famous leggie from Haryana, Amit, took over. The younger Mishra gave Delhi an early advantage after picking three crucial wickets, but old hand Amit ensured that the home team had the upper hand at stumps. With an unbeaten 50 (62b, 4x4, 1x6), Amit played a skipper's role to add 58 runs for the seventh wicket. Haryana finished the day at 165/6 to go ahead by 248 in their second innings.
Amit took to the crease when Sachin Rana (23, 36b, 2x4, 1x6) was sent back by Parwinder Awana in the 39th over. Haryana, at that stage, were 109/5. Although left-hander Abhimanyu Khod was still at the crease, Amit knew that quick runs can see give his team hope of recording an outright win. With Amit stepping out to negate the spinners, the game got a new twist. Delhi had failed to capitalise on Vikas's effort and Delhi was on the defensive. Very soon the close-in fielders started to move towards the fence. Small partnerships had done the magic for Haryana.
The wicket assisted spinners from the second over as Vikas turned the ball square to the right handers. But Delhi lost the momentum mid-way through the second session. Khod was instrumental in building two crucial partnerships - one with Dalal (33) and the other with Sachin Rana (35) - which brought Haryana back in the game. After Khod got out, Amit took charge and milked boundaries off Vikas and Manoj Chouhan. Haryana skipper later dispatched Vikas for a six over long on, followed by a four in the same direction to reach his fifty.
Earlier, Vikas had dismissed Haryana's opener Rahul Diwan by a ball that had both bite and turn. He kept varying his flight but bowled at a consistent pace. Speaking about his spell Vikas said, "I was thinking to save runs. While doing that, I started bowling short. I should have bowled a little slow as the ball had become soft. The runs started flowing as I bowled fast," said Mishra.