Ranji Trophy: Himmat & Co. lay solid foundation for Delhi

Delhi finished the first day of its Group A contest against Hyderabad on 336 for five in its first innings.

Himmat Singh top scored for Delhi with 99   -  Sandeep Saxena (File Photo)

Debutant Kunal Chandela’s impressive half-century (64, 109b, 7x4, 2x6) set the tone for Delhi to dominate the first day of its Group A contest against Hyderabad at Rajiv Gandhi Stadium here on Saturday. The opener’s exploits helped it finish on 336 for five in 87 overs at close of play in the last league match of the tourney.

Later, Himmat Singh played an equally invaluable knock (99, 151b, 15x4) and put on 118 runs for the fifth wicket with Lalit Yadav (62 batting, 111b, 7x4) for the fifth wicket. It effectively pushed the home team on the defensive.


Himmat missed his century when he was run-out going after Lalit Yadav flicked one from left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha to square-leg. Himmat charged too far towards the striker’s end and with Yadav at the other end not responding, he was stranded as Ojha collected a throw at the bowler’s end from B. Sandeep to disturb the stumps.

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On a pitch that offered bounce and good carry for most of the first session, Delhi opted to bat. Hyderabad preferred four spinners, dropping pacer Mohammad Muddassir, who picked five wickets on debut against Assam in the previous game. Star batsman Gautam Gambhir looked in ominous touch with some flowing strokes on either side of the wicket. He hit left-arm spinner Mehdi Hasan for three fours in his first over and went for an on-drive in the same over only to be deceived in flight; he ended up giving a return catch to the bowler.

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Injury for debutant Saaketh

For Hyderabad, debutant Saaketh Sai Ram struck with the third ball of his first over when he foxed Dhruv Shorey (32, 74b, 4x4), who went for the cut only to be bowled. But, in his second over, the off-spinner, in his attempt to latch on to a very hard hit drive from Chandela, injured his bowling finger just before the lunch break. Medical attention was given to Saaketh, who was out of action for the rest of the day.

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Captain Rishabh Pant, who had to rush off the field immediately on arrival because of vomiting sensation, failed to resist the temptation to go for the big hits too early. He was stumped smartly by Hyderabad captain and wicketkeeper K. Sumanth off the bowling of part-time bowler Rohit Rayudu.

Dhumal scalps five for Maharashtra

Pacer Nikit Dhumal's second five-wicket haul in first-class cricket helped Maharashtra restrict Assam to 279 on the first day of the Ranji Trophy Group A tie at the Poona Club ground. The Maharashtra top-order then caved in to the Assam pacers to see itself reeling at 64 for three at stumps.

Seven Assam batsmen were dismissed for single-digit scores. However, Sibsankar Roy and captain Gokul Sharma 149-run partnership for the fourth wicket and Pritam Das and Arup Das' 66-run association for the ninth gave Assam a fighting total.


Maharashtra will now hope for overnight batsmen Ruturaj Gaikwad and Rohit Motwani to see the new ball off for in-form Rahul Tripathi and all-rounder Shrikant Mundhe to ensure the team puts on a sizeable first innings total on the board.

Brief scores: Assam 279 all out in 66.2 overs (Gokul Sharma 87, Sibsankar Roy 80, Pritam Das 45, Arup Das 33; Nikit Dhumal five for 94, Pradeep Dadhe two for 58, Shrikant Mundhe two for 59) vs Maharashtra 64 for three in 18 overs (Ruturaj Gaikwad 41 n.o.; Pritam Das two for 32).

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