Chahal six-for puts Haryana in command

Spinner Yuzvendra Chahal took six wickets as Hyderabad was bowled out by Haryana for 191 on the first day of their Group C fixture in Jamshedpur.

Yuzvendra Chahal took a career-best 6 for 44.   -  Special Arrangement

Yuzvendra Chahal is better known for his exploits in the Indian Premier League. On Thursday, the 26-year-old leg-spinner’s patience paid off as he enjoyed his best day in Ranji Trophy by taking a career-best six-wicket haul. With it, Haryana seized the initiative against a rattled Hyderabad here.

> Scorecard

It must be remembered that the presence of leg-spinner (and captain) Amit Mishra and off-spinner Jayant Yadav in the Haryana team often denies Chahal a place in the playing XI. With the duo away for the One-Day Internationals against New Zealand, Chahal grabbed the opportunity like never before.

Chahal, playing only his 21st match since making his Ranji debut in 2009, improved upon his previous best of four for 22 taken against Jammu and Kashmir with a stunning six for 44 as Hyderabad crashed from 144 for four to 191. At stumps, Haryana was none without loss in one over.

A chess-player-turned-cricketer, Chahal plotted Hyderabad’s doom by taking two big wickets before lunch and then adding four in succession after tea. Hyderabad’s best phase of the match was the 71-run fifth-wicket stand that ensured a wicket-less second session of play.

Impatience

On a surface known to favour the batsmen, Hyderabad helped Haryana’s cause. There were at least three batsmen who showed urgency to play strokes and paid the penalty. Among them, B. Anirudh was the biggest culprit as he gave Chahal the charge and ended up as the wrist spinner’s first victim and the third of the innings.

Soon thereafter, Chahal got the big wicket of skipper and mentor S. Badrinath. The seasoned campaigner was done in, more by the bounce than turn. The ball kissed his thumb and Rajat Paliwal did the rest in slips to signal lunch.

Thereafter, B. Sandeep and K. Sumanth batted through the second session to take the score from 73 for four to 141 at tea. But soon after resumption, Chahal struck four more times in the space of 33 runs and ensured that Haryana regained control.

“I love this pitch since it has good bounce,” said Chahal after destroying Hyderabad. “I tried to vary the pace and mix it up a bit to put doubts in to the minds of the batsmen. Pitching it right was the key,” concluded Chahal.

Badrinath was understandably disappointed with the team’s display. “Opting to bat, I would have preferred a score of, say, 220 for five by stumps. At one stage, we lost three wickets too many,” he said referring to the collapse after tea.

Brief Scores (Group C):

> Andhra v Chhattisgarh

> Goa v Jammu and Kashmir

> Kerala v Himachal Pradesh

> Services v Tripura