Delhi tightened the noose on Odisha on the second day of their Ranji Trophy Group B tie by taking a 188-run first innings lead with the help of a stroke-filled 161 by former skipper Mithun Manhas after the second day's play here at the Ferozeshah Kotla Saturday.
Riding on the veteran player's century Delhi, who were struggling at 62/3, made 331 having bowled out the visitors for 143 in the first innings.
At stumps, Odisha were 7/0 in the second innings, trailing by 181 runs, with Abhilash Mallick and Paresh Patel at the crease on one and six. Bad light stopped play with eight overs left.
Manhas was in his elements and looked solid, scoring almost half of his team's runs, including 26 boundaries.
He was excellent support by all-rounder Sumit Narwal who went on to make 66 off 95 deliveries, forging a crucial 139-run partnership for the seventh wicket with Manhas.
"I tried to make most of the wicket. The plan was to just hang in there and time the ball well. Sumit batted really well and took the pressure off me. He gave me confidence to go for my shots. I am glad the century came when it was much needed," said the 33-year-old Manhas.
In the morning, Manan Sharma (15) and Milind Kumar (8) wasted opportunities by throwing away their wickets against a listless bowling attack.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Puneet Bisht (11) also got out immediately after lunch. With the score reading 163/6, Delhi looked like they would be bowled out inside 200.
However, Manhas and Narwal stuck together at the crease for 33 overs which took Deli to a competitive score.
Playing in his 126th first class game, Manhas, who has been the backbone of the Delhi middle-order since 1998, scored his 21st ton while 30-year-old Narwal scored his sixth first class fifty. Narwal's innings included eight boundaries and one splendid six over long on.
By tea the home team had already taken an important lead of 145 runs, with 125 runs coming in the second session of the day with the loss of only one wicket.
Odisha bowlers did not look lethal by any means and managed to take the Delhi wickets due to poor shot selection by the batsmen. Seamer Basanta Mohanty and Alok Mangaraj ended up taking four and three wickets.