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Nissar Trophy: Delhi consolidate lead

September 17, 2008 18:21 IST

Teenaged Delhi batsman Virat Kohli and seasoned opener Aakash Chopra missed double hundreds but steered Delhi to a mammoth 516 for four against Pakistani's Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited on the rain-curtailed third and penultimate day of the Mohammad Nissar Trophy in New Delhi on Wednesday.

Kohli fell just three runs short while Chopra smashed 182, contributing 385 runs in a partnership that lasted 536 balls.

Rajat Bhatia was batting on 32 and Mayank Tehlan was on 24 when rains played spoilsport an hour and 20 minutes before schduled close of play. Seventeen overs were lost of the day's play.

Kohli and Chopra put Delhi in an advantageous position with a huge lead of 384 runs on another frustrating day for the bowlers of the Quaid-e-Azam champions in the four-day match at the Ferozeshah Kotla ground.

Asked whether declaring the innings would have been a good idea, Delhi coach Vijay Dahiya said, "The weather was not in our hand. We didn't declare because we didn't want to take any chance for the wicket was still playing good."

Resuming at overnight 242 for one, the duo of Kohli and Chopra started from where they had left off yesterday and propelled the total to 395 for one at lunch.

SNGPL skipper Mohammed Hafeez made desperate efforts to break the partnership but it had little effect.

Hafeez even introduced himself, bowling his off-breaks but Kohli treated him with disdain, hitting him for a huge six over mid-on. The SNGPL skipper's five overs cost 36 runs.

Having paced the innings well to reach their respective centuries in the pre-lunch session, Chopra and Kohli slowed down a bit with the double tons in sight.

Despite the hot and humid conditions, Kohli and Chopra kept their nerves, putting a premium on their wicket in the post-lunch session.

The 19-year-old Kohli was eventually dismissed by Asad Ali, having made 197 runs off 274 balls, hitting 29 fours and a six.

This knock could open the door to his maiden berth in the Test series against Australia.

Chopra's 315-ball knock contained 21 fours. The second highest run-getter in the last domestic season has started the new year on a bright note and would hope to be rewarded when Australia come calling.

Asad was the most successful bowler with 2-98 while Imran Khalid proved expensive, giving away 100 runs without a wicket.

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