Akash Chopra shines again as Delhi takes lead

Published: Sunday, December 3, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi:Ashish Nehra's three-wicket burst in the morning earned Delhi a crucial first innings lead of 12 runs and Akash Chopra's sedate unbeaten knock of 68 saw the hosts extend the cushion to 177 runs at stumps on day three of the Ranji Trophy Elite group match against Uttar Pradesh here today.

Nehra completed his five-wicket haul today as Uttar Pradesh's first innings folded for 287 runs, 12 runs behind Delhi's total in the first essay.

In their second innings, Delhi were 165 for three at stumps today, with Aakash Chopra (68) and Viraat Kohli (13) in the middle.

After slamming 150 in the first innings, Chopra continued from where he had left and showed tremendous concentration and drop anchor at one end.

Chopra and his younger oening partner Shikhar Dhawan (21) began on a positive note but RP Singh dealt a double blow by removing both Dhawan and Delhi captain Mithun Manhas (18), while his new ball colleague Praveen Kumar chipped in with the wicket of Mayank Tehlan (19) to reduce the hosts to 131 for three.

Chopra, however, was hardly perturbed by what was going on at the other end and remained unbeaten on 68 off 167 balls which included six hits to the fence.

Earlier, resuming on 207 for five, UP's hopes of surpassing the rival total rested on the shoulders of overnight batsmen Tanmay Srivastav (73) and Praveen Kumar (66).

Both the batsmen, however, let the side down. Ashish Nehra castled Tanmay, while Praveen Kumar returned stumped, trying to hit Chetanya Nanda out of the ground.

Tanmay's well paced 73-run knock came off 178 balls and included 10 boundaries, while Praveen needed 165 balls for his 66 runs, which included six fours and three sixes.

Down the order, Piyush Chawla played a brisk 73-ball knock of 61 with the help of nine boundaries before Ishant Sharma bowled him and Nehra then polished the UP tail to drop curtains on their innings at 287.


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