Anuj Rawat century puts Delhi in command against Madhya Pradesh

Vastavam web: Anuj Rawat hit a brilliant counter-attacking hundred to nullify Avesh Khan’s six-wicket haul as Delhi looked set for an outright win against Madhya Pradesh in a Ranji Trophy group league encounter here Sunday. Wicket-keeper batsman Anuj scored 134 off 183 balls as Delhi scored 261 in their first innings in reply to MP’s modest 132. A first innings lead of 129 may well ensure full points for the home team.

The day belonged to left-handed Anuj, who played by far the most impressive innings of his nascent career so far. “I felt bad but IPL snub has taught me that I need to work a lot harder. This is by far my best innings in senior cricket,” said the former India U-19 keeper. Delhi were reduced to 36 for 5, courtesy Avesh (6/51), who worked up brisk pace to unsettle the likes of Kunal Chandela (0), Dhruv Shorey (0), Nitish Rana (0) and Hiten Dalal (0).

Coached by Rajkumar Sharma (Virat Kohli’s coach), young Rawat showed admirable temperament and proper game sense as he first consolidated with Lalit Yadav (25) in a 60-run sixth wicket stand. He repeatedly reverse-swept leg-spinner Mihir Hirwani off the rough and for good measure hooked Kuldeep Sen for a six. He also hit a couple of sixes off left-arm spinner Kartikeya Singh. Rawat is now getting a longer rope as Rishabh Pant is busy on national duty. “Even if Rishabh Pant comes back, I want to score as many runs so that I can be picked purely as a batsman,” said Rawat. Another former U-19 player, who hogged limelight during the first half was Avesh, who is having a dream Ranji season so far with close to 35 wickets. “The selection is not in my hands, performance is and that’s what I am focussing on,” he said.