Helped by patient a half-century by debutant Mayank Tehlan, hosts Delhi were comfortably placed at 170 for four in their first innings in the Ranji Trophy Elite Group 'A' match against Maharashtra in New Delhi on Saturday.
Delhi are just 38 runs behind Maharashtra with a well controlled Tehlan on 74 and Pradeep Chawl (7) at the crease at stumps on day two at Jamia Milia University ground.
Earlier, the visitors were folded up for 208 after they added only 25 runs to their overnight score.
Resuming at 170 for 7, Maharashtra's innings lasted only 5.5 overs as laft-arm pacer Kunal Lall struck twice and debutant Mukesh Dewan, who claimed the last wicket, returned second best figures (4 for 48) of the innings.
Lall, who had bowled with pin-point accuracy and kept the batsmen stuck to the crease yesterday, reaped his harvest in the morning when he removed Kaushik Aphale and then bowled Sairaj Bahutule (66), making sure that the tail did not wag. He finished with the best figures of 4 for 33 in 24 overs.
Openers Aakash Chopra and Shikhar Dhawan once again failed to give a strong foundation to the hosts as Dhawan fell to S Burukul with just 8 runs on the board.
Chopra's over two hours stay in the middle ended as he's trapped leg before wicket by Munaf leaving Delhi at 70 for 2.
But Tehlan dashed the rival camp's hope of any top order collapse as he played a determined and gutsy innings.
Tehlan and Mithun Manhas stitched 40 runs before the latter was out lbw by Burkul. Tehlan, who hit four boundaries and hold forte for more than three and half hours, was involved in another crucial partnership of 51 runs for the fourth wicket with Rajat Bhatia (24). Burkul (3-54) sent Bhatia to the pavilion just before the close.
Maharashtra (1st innings):
M Nigde lbw b Deewan 8
D Jadhav b Bhandari 0
H Kanitkar lbw b Kunal Lal 17
K Aphale c Dhawan b Kunal Lal 24
S Bahutule b Kunal Lal 66
A Kale c Chopra b Kunal Lal 3
D Mohan c Chopra b Nanda 10
S Satbhai c Dhawan b Deewan 7
M Patel c Varun Kumar b Deewan 46
S Burkul not out 4
R Jadhav c Varun Kumar b Deewan 5
Extras: (b 3, lb 1, w 1, nb 13) 18
Total: (all out, 81.5 overs, 383 mins) 208
Fall of wickets: 1-3, 2-19, 3-52, 4-57, 5-82, 6-97, 7-177, 8-194, 9-201, 10-208.
Bowling: Bhandari 20-4-46-1 (7nb), Kunal Lal 24-9-33-4 (1w), Bhatia 5-1-15-0, Deewan 17.5-1-48-4 (5nb), Nanda 13-3-46-1 (1nb), Manhas 2-0-6-0.
Delhi (1st innings):
A Chopra lbw b Patel 24
S Dhawan c Mohan b Burkul 6
M Tehlan not out 74
M Manhas lbw b Burkul 21
R Bhatia lbw b Burkul 24
P Chawla not out 7.
Extras: (b 6, lb 2, w 1, nb 5) 14
Total: (4 wickets, 84 overs) 170
To bat: Varun Kumar, A Bhandari, C Nanda, Kunal Lal, M Deewan.
Fall of wickets 1-8, 2-70, 3-110, 4-161.
Bowling: Patel 23-6-5-1 (2nb), Burkul 22-6-54-3 (1w), Bahutule 31-14-39-0 (1nb), Mohan 3-0-6-0 (2nb), RP Jadhav 5-1-17-0.