Ranji Trophy: Generous Delhi lets MP survive the day

Ankit Dane hits 59; Vikas Mishra takes three as MP ends Day 1 at 223 for six.

Spinner Vikas Mishra was the most effective bowler of the day.   -  V. Raju

It turned out to be an ordinary day’s cricket with Delhi and Madhya Pradesh ruing the missed opportunities that could have left them in a much better position in their Ranji Trophy quarterfinal here on Thursday.

Scorecard

When the opening day’s action ended at the picturesque Dr. Gokaraju Laila Gangaraju ACA Cricket Complex here, MP was 223 for six in 90 overs.

After being asked to bat in conditions that assisted seam movement on a pitch that offered reasonable bounce, MP could not stitch long partnerships though the batsmen showed signs of applying themselves.

In spite of Delhi bowlers erring in line and length at regular intervals and fielders spilling catches, none of the MP batsmen made the opposition pay heavily.

Ranji Trophy Quarterfinals, Day 1:  As it happened

For Delhi’s part, the bowlers were guilty of not bowling to their field. Kulwant Khejroliya and Navdeep Saini, even after tasting success, failed to keep up the pressure. Ironically, left-arm spinner Vikas Mishra, who struck thrice, looked effective on this surface that was more suited for the faster bowlers.

After being reduced to 157 for five in the 61st over, if MP survived the day, it owed much of it to the generosity of Delhi and the presence of Harpreet Singh, the team’s highest run-getter this season.

The left-hander kept Delhi at bay with an on-going innings of 47 with Puneet Datey on eight. Delhi fielders spilled a catch from each of these batsmen, in addition to the caught-and-bowled chance offered by skipper Devendra Bundela when on 11 and the team score was 132 for three.

Read: Ranji Trophy round-up

The MP innings was dotted with two 59-run partnerships following a knock of 59 by opener Ankit Dane. He was the only batsman who looked in control after losing his opening partner Rajat Patidar in the sixth over.

All MP batsmen, except Patidar, hit at least a boundary and took time to settle down. However, none of them could really stay long enough to worry Delhi.
 

If MP has managed to add the last 66 runs at the cost of just one wicket in 29.4 overs, it had much to do with the decision of inexperienced Delhi skipper Rishabh Pant not to take the new ball. The decision allowed Harpreet, in particular, to settle down.

Overall, MP improved its position after the departure of its most experienced pair of Bundela and Naman Ojha in the space of eight runs in the middle session. Like Dane, Ojha looked assured as he hit a six and nine boundaries but missed a well-deserved half century by a run.