Ranji Trophy: Kunwar, Himmat stand salvage opening day for Delhi

Delhi's top-order batting woes continued but Kunwar Bidhuri and Himmat Singh cut short Gujarat's joy with a timely 134-run sixth-wicket stand.

File photo of Himmat Singh, who put up a crucial stand with Kunwar Bidhuri in Delhi's match against Gujarat.   -  R.V. Moorthy

Delhi's top-order batting woes continued but Kunwar Bidhuri and Himmat Singh cut short Gujarat's joy with a timely 134-run sixth-wicket stand on the opening day of their Ranji Trophy match here on Tuesday.

Put in to bat, Delhi was tottering at 136 for five when Bidhuri joined Himmat. The duo smashed half-centuries and looked like taking the host to stumps but, in the scheduled penultimate over, Himmat’s dismissal ended play at 270 for six.

For the better part of the day, Gujarat called the shots in spite of opener Hiten Dalal (69, 10x4) playing an innings of character. The fall of wickets at regular intervals continued as in-form medium pacer Roosh Kalaria ended up accounting for the openers and fellow left-armer Arzan Nagwaswalla sent back skipper Dhruv Shorey (28, 6x4), Nitish Rana (0) and Jonty Sidhu (18) to dash Delhi’s hopes of a big first innings total.

Ranji Trophy 2019-20: Back with a ton, Samarth means business

But what followed was a rather unexpected act of resistance from Bidhuri (78 batting, 11x4, 1x6) and Himmat (56, 8x4, 1x6).

Himmat, playing his first Ranji match since January 2018, was keen to prove a point. All-rounder Bidhuri, in his fifth match, saw an opportunity to do justice to his batting abilities.

The two took time to settle down and soon it was Bidhuri who overtook his senior partner. His maiden Ranji half-century came off 77 deliveries before Himmat, clearly the more sedate of the two, followed suit in 125 balls.

Just when it appeared Delhi could end the day without further damage, Axar Patel scalped Himmat to re-ignite Gujarat’s hopes of bringing an early end to the host's innings on Wednesday.

  Dugout videos