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Rishabh Pant notched up his second first class century in only his fourth game, a strokeful and unbeaten 155, to keep Delhi in the hunt for the first innings lead against Maharashtra in their Ranji Trophy Group B match here today.
The left-handed Pant, who kept wickets for Delhi for almost two days during Maharashtra's massive first innings total of 635 for 2 declared, came in to bat when his side was in trouble at 135 for 3 and remained unconquered in a close of play tally of 376 for 5.
Pant, who had represented the country in the last Under 19 World Cup in Bangladesh, batted in an aggressive fashion to strike 6 sixes and 21 fours off the 165 balls he faced till stumps on day three of the four-day match at the Wankhede Stadium.
Pant's heroics were possible as he was let off thrice by the butter-fingered Maharashtra fielders - on 33, 62 and 93 - and went on to stitch together century stands worth 124 and 117 for the fourth and fifth wickets with Dhruv Shorey (71) and Milind Kumar (45).
Delhi were 51 for two before the innings was steadied by an 84-run partnership between Shorey, who struck 7 fours in 158 balls, and Nitish Rana (44).
Maharashtra pegged Delhi back a bit in the last over to stumps with the second new ball as Mohsin Sayyed, easily the team's most impressive bowler, sent back Kumar caught behind to end the fifth wicket partnership.
Delhi were 259 runs behind Maharashtra at stumps on a track that still played true without showing many signs of wear and tear as hardly a ball misbehaved throughout the day.
For Maharashtra, Sayyed, who should have had Kumar caught by wicket keeper More when the batsman was on 4 in a Delhi score of 266 for 4 - returned with good end of day figures of 3 for 73, including that of rival captain and opener Unmukt Chand for 24.
The more experienced Shrikant Mundhe and off spinner Chirag Khurana picked up the other two wickets to fall.
Maharashtra: 635 for 2 decl.
Delhi: 376 for 5 (Dhruv Shorey 71, Nitish Rana 44, Rishabh Pant not out 155, Milind Kumar 45; Mohsin Sayyed 3n for 73).
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)