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Alarming pitch stops play for 28 minutes

New Delhi: The Ranji Trophy tie between Delhi and Vidarbha at the Roshanara Club ground here had to be stopped for 28 minutes in the pre-lunch session on the opening day, after the visiting side complained that the pitch is “under-prepared.”

The drama started around 10.30 am, after Vidarbha, asked to bat first, lost seven wickets for only 33 runs on board on a green top. Reeling under some inspired pace attack by Ashish Nehra (6/ 16), Vidarbha requested the umpires to stop the game when a Parvinder Awana’s delivery in the 19th over rose from the good length spot to hit batsman Amol Jungate on the shoulder.

Match Referee Sanjay Patil stopped play temporarily. But he was not convinced that the pitch was “under-prepared”.

Match resumed after the roller was used for about 20 minutes. Seven overs were lost. Vidarbha skipper Shalabh Shrivastava, however, stuck to their stance and team manager Ashok Upadhyay said an official complaint could be lodged. The stoppage and the use of the roller, he alleged, only helped Delhi.

“No doubt, it is a dangerous wicket,” said Shrivastava. “Jungate is playing after taking pain killers. Ranjit Paradkar has got hit on the knuckles. I have been hit on the waist,” he added.

Delhi coach Sanjeev Sharma defended the pitch saying it was not under-prepared. “The track was definitely helping fast bowlers, but it was not dangerous. There was only one delivery which behaved in an odd manner,” he added.