Ranji Trophy 2013-14: Vengopal Rao's century helps Gujarat post 281/7 against Delhi

Venugopal Rao found the fence 13 times and cleared it once during his 190-ball knock © IANS (Representational Photo)

Surat: Nov 7, 2013

Y Venugopal Rao struck a fine century as Gujarat posted 281 for seven in their Ranji Trophy Group A match against Delhi, whose star performer was medium pacer Sumit Narwal, who picked up five wickets in Surat on Thursday.

At stumps on the opening day, Akshar Patel and Rakesh Dhurv were batting on 22 and two, respectively.

Venugopal Rao found the fence 13 times and cleared it once during his 190-ball knock, which stabilised the Gujarat innings after the hosts elected to bat at the Lalabhai Contractor Stadium.

Narwal returned impressive figures of five for 56, including the wicket of Gujarat skipper Parthiv Patel, who was sent back for 22, and Venugopal Rao.

Manpreet Juneja made 50 before being trapped in front of the wicket by Ashish Nehra, the experienced left-arm fast medium bowler finishing the day with 2/47.

Juneja struck five fours in his 102-ball knock, while Bhargav Merai made 45 off 98 balls, and with the help of five hits to the fence.

Delhi captain Gautam Gambhir used six bowlers, with only two proving to be successful.

Gujarat were off to a bad start losing three wickets with just 67 runs on the board. After the well-set Juneja was dismissed by Nehra to make it 124/4, Venugopal Rao and Merai joined hands to forge a century stand and stabilised the innings. Their partnership was broken when Narwal bowled Merai in the day’s 73rd over.

Venugopal Rao followed suit as Delhi got a couple of important breakthroughs before stumps.

Buoyed by their comprehensive innings win over Vidarbha at Nagpur, Gujarat are hoping for a similar performance to consolidate their position.

The Delhi team wears a formidable look with Virender Sehwag, Ashish Nehra, Unmukt Chand, Mithun Manhas and Rajat Bhatia in its ranks.