Mithun Manhas shines in Delhi runathon

Mithun ManhasMithun Manhas flicks on way to his 100 versus Vidarbha at the Roshanara ground in New Delhi (IE Photo Amit Mehra)

Members of the Roshanara Club, who decided to spend a good part of their Sunday watching the Group A match between Delhi and Vidarbha, would have wondered why the visitors had complained about the quality of the wicket the previous day.

This was because seasoned campaigner Mithun Manhas made a century off 123 balls, Virender Sehwag made 56 off 72 balls with 10 boundaries, wicket-keeper Rahul Yadav hit 81 and even medium-pacer Ashish Nehra made 57, his maiden first-class fifty.

These runs were scored on a wicket on which Vidarbha were dismissed for just 88. Delhi finished Day Two at 448 for nine and going by how the visitors performed in the first innings it is unlikely that the hosts will have to bat again.

The lead currently stands at 352 and this cushion should be enough to give Delhi bowlers the right to attack from the start.

Manhas made the most of having to face an ordinary attack with his third century of the season, which gave him a tally of 519 at 86.50. Last season, Manhas had dug in with a match- saving knock of 106 against Baroda at Ferozeshah Kotla when Delhi were chasing a mammoth target of 561. Although the hosts weren't in trouble against Vidarbha, having already taken the first innings lead on Saturday, Manhas helped his side consolidate their position.

Manhas, however, didn't hold back and a strike rate of 81.30 indicates how he went about his batting on Sunday.

Manhas's innings had 19 boundaries out of which eight were caressed through the cover region. He played the square cut and drove equally well on the front foot and back foot. Manhas brought up his century with a beautiful back foot punch through mid-off. As Manhas started to look solid in the middle, the Vidarbha bowlers' shoulders started to droop.

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