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Mohammed Shami Bengal’s rescuer in the ongoing Ranji Trophy semi-final

He completed five wickets in the innings; his 8th five-wicket haul in first-class cricket.

Mohammed Shami
Mohammed Shami appeals. (Photo Source: Zee News)

The ongoing Ranji Trophy semi-final fixture between Delhi and Bengal has witnessed a lot of drama. Gautam Gambhir was patience personified while unheralded Kunal Chandela showed maturity beyond years as their twin tons took Delhi to a commanding 271 for three against Bengal on the second day of the encounter.

The left-hander scored a sublime 127 off 216 balls to register his 42nd first-class hundred. The best part about Gambhir this season has been his attitude. He has remain attached with a goal of guiding Delhi with crucial runs yet remained uninvolved like an isolated island.

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However, it was Bengal speedster Mohammed Shami who provided the breakthrough for Bengal after dismissing Gambhir on what proved to be the final delivery of Day 2. The Shami-Gambhir contest was always expected to be the headline act of Delhi’s innings. It pitted a fast bowler in his prime against a grizzled run-machine.

Shami at the start had toiled away manfully, trying to dislodge Gambhir but in vain. He had bowled more overs than any other Bengal bowler, even the spinners, for no reward. And he’d targeted the region between Gambhir’s armpit and head tirelessly from over and around the wicket in multiple bursts. Almost more than one-third of the 62 balls he’d bowled at the left-hander before commencing the final over of the day had been of bouncer-length.

Shami claims a fifer on day 3

With Bengal scoring a below par 286 in their first essay, they were sure to concede first innings lead. The only positive for Bengal was the final session where Delhi scored only 51 runs losing three wickets including Gambhir.

They finished the day at a commanding 271/3, despite Bengal’s late comeback with three wickets in the final hour. After a brilliant spell last night to help bring Bengal back into the game, Shami started Day 3 on a high as the 27-year-old was on a hat-trick after claiming the 7th and 8th wicket.

He completed five wickets in the innings; his 8th five-wicket haul in first-class cricket. The pacer had his tail up in the last spell and also bagged the last wicket to finish with figures of 6/122 as Delhi were bowled out for 398.

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