Ranji Trophy: Kaul breathes fire with the ball as Punjab dominates

Siddarth Kaul took six for 32 bamboozled the Delhi batsmen with his pace and variety as Delhi succumbed to a paltry 107 against Punjab in a Ranji Trophy league match.

Punjab's Siddharth Kaul exults after dismissing Simarjeet Singh of Delhi. He took 6 wickets in for 32 runs in 12.5 overs.   -  Sandeep Saxena

Siddarth Kaul’s incisive spell and Mandeep Singh’s determined batsmanship swung the day’s play in Punjab’s favour as Delhi stars at three bleak days next in the Ranji Trophy match at the Ferozeshah Kotla in New Delhi.

Electing to bat, Delhi surrendered to the pace of Kaul, who claimed six for 32, to be bowled out for 107 and then saw Punjab knock off 136 for three.

It was a spinner’s pitch and yet Siddarth Kaul bowled his heart out to make a telling impact on the contest. “There was some early moisture and I enjoyed the surface once Yuvraj asked me to hold the length back a bit. It worked very well,’ said a beaming Kaul, who bowled with relentless pressure on the opposition.

As the day unfolded

Once Delhi lost veteran Gautam Gambhir in the second over of the day the home team slipped to miserable depths. Kaul bowled quick and pitched it short too at times to rattle the batsmen. “He bowled with remarkable zeal and determination,” said Yuvraj, who guided Kaul to bring out his best.

Barring Anuj Rawat and debutant Kunwar Bidhuri, who came together at 52 for five, none of the Delhi batsmen had the resolve to hang in. It was a tough pitch to bat on and needed application to fight it out in the middle. It was left to Punjab skipper Mandeep Singh to show the way.

Mandeep played the ball on merit and impressed with the temperament to handle the situation like a seasoned batsman. He concentrated on keeping the ball on the ground even as Yuvraj at the other end produced an uncharacteristically slow innings — taking 29 deliveries to score his first runs, a boundary.

Yuvraj’s approach reflected his mindset. “I did not want to lose my wicket to a loose shot. It was challenging to bat on this pitch and I just decide to spend time in the middle,” said Yuvraj. His support to Mandeep complemented the 60-run third-wicket stand the Punjab skipper had with opener Jiwanjot.

The scores

Delhi 1st innings: Gautam Gambhir lbw Pannu 1, Hiten Dalal c Gupta b Choudhary 18, Dhruv Shorey b Kaul 3, Nitish Rana b Kaul 17, Himmat Singh lbw b Choudhary 12, Anuj Rawat b Kaul 22, Kunwar Bidhuri lbw b Choudhary 27, Varun Sood c Jiwanjot b  Kaul 1, Pulkit Narang lbw b Kaul 0, Simarjeet Singh c Gupta b Kaul 0, Vikas Mishra (not out) 2, Extras (b-2, lb-1, w-1) 4, Total (in 42.5 overs) 107.

Fall of wickets: 1-1, 2-22, 3-30, 4-48, 5-52, 6-101, 7-102, 8-102, 9-102.

Punjab bowling: Siddarth Kaul 12.5-4-32-6, Arpit Pannu 8-3-12-1, Vinay Choudhary 9-1-34-3, Gurkeerat Singh Mann 7-3-8-0, Mayank Markande 6-1-18-0.

Punjab 1st innings: Jiwanjot Singh lbw b Mishra 39, Abhishek Sharma c Mishra b Simarjeet 0, Anmolpreet Singh lbw b Mishra 22, Mandeep Singh (batting) 54, Yuvraj Singh (batting) 16, Extras (lb-5) 5, total (for three wkts in 45 overs ) 136.

Fall of wickets: 1-5, 2-38, 3-98.

Delhi bowling: Simarjeet Singh 4-0-17-1, Vikas Mishra 18-5-27-2, Pulkit Narang 14-1-52-0, Varun Sood 8-1-35-0, Nitish Rana 1-1-0-0.