The strip at the Maharashtra Cricket Association stadium had a green tinge. The sky was overcast till late afternoon. Naturally, pacers ruled the roost for most of the day as 15 wickets fell on the opening day of Maharashtra’s tie versus Delhi on Tuesday.
Manoj Ingale starred with his third five-wicket haul in First Class to bowl Delhi out for 191. The other pacers - Ashay Palkar and Rajvardhan Hangargekar - completed the remaining wickets after captain Rahul Tripathi had won the important toss and elected to field.
The Delhi pacers then got into the act and reduced Maharashtra to 14 for three before Siddhesh Veer, one of the four Maharashtra debutants, and Naushad Shaikh stitched together an impressive partnership before Mayank Yadav broke the partnership in high-voltage dying minutes.
Off the first ball of Mayank’s over, Naushad was contentiously adjudged not out by umpire Anand Ovalekar when an edge off his willow was pouched by Lalit Yadav at second slip. While Naushad stood his ground, umpire Ovalekar ruled that the ball had bumped into the ground before flying. It prompted the Delhi contingent, led by veteran Ishant Sharma, to have a go at Naushad.
Off the last ball of the same over, Mayank - the lone Delhi debutant - drew left-handed Veer into a false stroke and Anuj Rawat didn’t falter behind the wickets to break the 59-run association, the highest of the day.
In the next over, captain Yash Dhull, who had played a breezy cameo in the morning session, caught Satyajeet Bachhav short of his crease with a direct hit after sprinting in from covers which brought an end to the proceedings, with Maharashtra tottering at 80 for five.
Ingale and Hangargekar had put Maharashtra into ascendancy despite the Delhi top-order getting off to a quick start. In their second spells, the right-arm pacers corrected their length, pitched in the channel, and induced edges consistently.
Had it not been for Himmat Singh’s 42-run partnership with last-man Mayank, Delhi would have struggled to cross 150.
Maharashtra vs Delhi - Scorecard
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