Gautam Gambhir, the architect of India’s 2011 World Cup triumph, came up with his 43rd and final first-class ton to help Delhi secure at least three crucial points after the hosts took a slim 29-run first innings lead over Andhra in a Group B Ranji Trophy Round 5 game here on Saturday.
Gambhir, who was the centre of attraction among the 500-odd crowd at the Feroz Shah Kotla here, scored 112 to help Delhi reach 409/7 at stumps on the penultimate day of the tie in response to Andhra’s first innings score of 380.
Resuming the third day on an individual score of 92, Gambhir stole a boundary through the slips to advance to 98 before square driving Bandaru Ayappa for a couple to reach to the landmark amid thunderous applaud from the crowd.
The southpaw added 113 runs for the second wicket with skipper Dhruv Shorey (98) before being dismissed caught behind off off-spinner Shoaib Mohammed Khan.
On his departure from the crease, the home side gave him a guard of honour while the tourists also came to congratulate the former Test opener.
Shorey, however continued milking the Andhra bowlers as he batted patiently playing 259 balls, hitting six fours and more importantly added 86 runs with Vaibhav Rawal (33).
Rawal and Shorey departed in quick succession leaving Delhi in a spot of bother but the young guns -- Jonty Sidhu (30), Lalit Yadav (29) and Anuj Rawat (28) -- comfortably took the home side past Andhra’s first innings.