New Delhi: Despite senior batsman Mithun Manhas and all-rounder Rajat Bhatia scoring centuries, Delhi were unable to surpass Baroda's first innings total of 561 as the third round Ranji Trophy match ended in a barren draw with both teams getting a point each.
Delhi ended the final day's play at 505 for six at the end of mandatory overs with Bhatia remaining unbeaten on 133. Manhas scored 106, which was also his second century of the competition after his 161 against Odisha in the last match.
Since two innings weren't complete, both teams got a point each as per the new BCCI rules.
Delhi now have 8 points, while Baroda are on seven after the third round.
The home team needed 347 runs on the final day in 90 overs, which was difficult on a dead Feroz Shah Kotla track with the ball keeping extremely low.
Manhas and Bhatia tried their best but with Baroda employing negative tactics, it was very difficult to get to the target.
Yet, Manhas showed his class en route his 22nd first-class century as he hit 15 fours in 241 balls. He completed his century with a cover drive off Bhargav Bhatt.
The Manhas-Bhatia partnership produced 133 runs off 321 balls, which was quite admirable considering that Ambati Rayudu employed at least five fielders to save the boundaries.
It became very difficult for the two veterans to find the boundaries.
By lunch, it became pretty evident that Delhi were not going for the chase.
For Bhatia, there couldn't have been a better start to the season having missed the first two matches due to injury. After chipping in with three wickets, the senior all-rounder batted with lot of responsibility.
He hit 13 fours and a big six over deep mid-wicket off Bhatt, which brought up his 12th century in first-class cricket.
There was some excitement in the Baroda camp when Bisht padded a Bhatt arm ball and then Manan Sharma was caught off left-arm seamer Gagandeep Singh Natt's bowling.
At 398 for six, there were still some time left for the mandatory overs to start but Bhatia brought in all his experience and with an able batsman in Sumit Narwal, playing for a point wasn't a big issue.
Narwal, in fact provided some entertainment late in the day as he hit Bhatt for three huge sixes and a four in one over which yielded 22 runs. Narwal finally remained unbeaten on 65 as he hit four sixes and nine fours.
Left-arm spinner Bhargav Bhatt was the pick of the Baroda bowlers as he got three wickets, which included wickets of Unmukt Chand, Manhas and Puneet Bisht.
His final figure of 48-6-169-3 was a bit dented due to some late hitting by Narwal.
Delhi 505 for 6 in 133 overs(Rajat Bhatia not out 133, Mithun Manhas 106, Sumit Narwal not out 65, Mohit Sharma 71, Unmukt Chand 51; Bhargav Bhatt 3/169). Baroda 1; Delhi 1.
Story first published on: Tuesday, 20 November 2012 18:09 IST