Left-arm seamer Samad Fallah took five wickets as Maharashtra got a slender first innings lead of three runs against Delhi on an exciting second day of the Ranji Trophy Group A League encounter at the Roshanara Club ground on Sunday.
In reply to Maharashtra's first innings total of 196, Delhi were all out for 193 on a day when two hours were lost due to wet outfield and 54 overs were bowled.
Although Maharashtra got the first innings lead, it is of little consequence as two days are still left and there is every possibility of an outright result.
The visitors, however, owe their success to Fallah who made good use of the conditions to take five for 67. He got good support from fellow pacer Nikit Dhumal who grabbed three for 34.
Young left-hander Vaibhav Rawal fought hard for his 65 before he was the ninth batsman out, trying to play a pull shot of right-arm medium pacer Dhumal but was caught at the deep square leg boundary by Anupam Sanklecha.
He hit eight fours during his 281-minute knock in which he faced 157 balls. It was 182 for nine when Rawal was dismissed and the last few minutes of the Delhi innings was an exciting contest.
Delhi's No 11 Pawan Suyal then hit Fallah for a six and four to bring his team within three runs of the opponent's total.
However, Suyal played another aerial shot but was taken in the mid-wicket region by Kedar Jadhav which gave the visitors first-innings lead and more importantly a psychological edge going into the third day.
This was Fallah's 10th five-wicket haul in first-class cricket. The best partnership for Delhi was 59 for the fourth wicket between Mithun Manhas (28) and Rawal.
However, Manhas was trapped plumb in-front by Fallah with an incoming delivery while seasoned Rajat Bhatia got a rising delivery that hit his glove and was taken by wicketkeeper Rohit Motwani.
With Manhas and Bhatia out in quick succession, the writing was there on the cards. Maharashtra seamers made good use of the conditions and never let the Delhi batsmen dominate proceedings, something that paid off for them.
Maharashtra were three for no loss in the second innings and have a total lead of six runs.
Maharashtra: 196 & 3/0.
Delhi: 193 in 77 overs (Vaibhav Rawal 65, Mithun Manhas 28, Samad Fallah 5/67).