Sambalpur: Experienced all-rounder Rajat Bhatia hit an unbeaten 158 and combined with lower-order batsmen to propel Delhi to a huge 442 all out against Odisha, who were trailing by 321 runs at the end of second day in their Ranji Trophy Group A match, in Sambalpur on Saturday.
Bhatia, who resumed at 71, not only recorded his 13th first class century but ensured that Delhi reach a commanding position by building partnerships with lower-order batsmen.
After early departure of his overnight partner Varun Sood (16), Bhatia joined hands with Sumit Narwal (40), raising a 65-run stand for the eighth wicket, and then rattled the opposition with his 92-run partnership with Ashish Nehra (40) for the ninth wicket.
Bhatia tormented the Odisha bowlers with 18 fours and two sixes in his 258-ball knock.
In reply, the hosts were 121 for three in with opener Natraj Behera (53) and skipper Biplab Samantray (27) at the crease.
The duo has already put on 51-run stand for the unfinished fourth-wicket stand after losing Bikas Pati (0), Niranjan Behera (5) cheaply.
Goving Poddar batted well for his 70-ball 34 before being caught behind off paceman Parvinder Awana.
Delhi 1st innings: 442 all out in 134.3 overs.(Rajat Bhatia 158 not out; Mithun Manhas 92; Deepak Behera 3/107).
Odisha 1st innings: 121 for 3 in 42 overs.(Natraj Behera 53 batting; Parvinder Awana 1/28).