Ranji Trophy: Vikas Mishra's six-for puts Delhi in charge

Left-arm spinner Vikas Mishra's six-for rattled the MP line-up which finished the day's play at 132 for nine.

Vikas Mishra schythed through the MP batting line-up with a six-for.   -  shiv kumar pushpakar

Left-arm spinner Vikas Mishra claimed six Madhya Pradesh wickets on the opening day of the Ranji Trophy match at the Ferozeshah Kotla to put the host side on top here on Saturday.

Delhi won a good toss but appeared to have conceded the advantage to the visiting team which was off to a brisk start of 59.

Once Mishra struck to remove Aryaman Birla, the Madhya Pradesh batting collapsed to finish the opening day at 132 for nine with off-spinner Shivam Sharma picking up three wickets.

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The match started late on account of the wet pitch. After early lunch, Delhi could squeeze in 51 overs for the day before play was called off. Batting looked easy when Birla and Anand Bais went about their job. However, it was a different story once the Delhi spinners got into the act.

Mishra was outstanding in his approach. He chose to bowl on the stumps and make the most of a helpful surface. “For the first time this season,” said coach Mithun Manhas, “I did not see the spinners bowl bad balls in the initial stages. It was heartening to see them attack the stumps and MP looked clueless.”

Tightening screws

Mishra and Shivam did not give the MP batsmen any freedom to leave the crease. They were uncertain in their approach and paid the penalty when playing back too often. “This was a kind of pitch where you just had to bowl up to the batsmen. The bowlers won us the advantage,” added Manhas.

Madhya Pradesh came into the contest with some good work from its batsmen, especially Rajat Patidar and Yash Dubey. Both, though, failed to get going and the middle order had little chance of revival once skipper Naman Ojha got out cheaply to Mishra.

Sensing a chance to run through the opposition, Mishra gave his best, pushing the ball and extracting help from the pitch. “He was the difference today,” Manhas summed up Delhi’s performance.

Brief Scores

At New Delhi: Madhya Pradesh 132 for nine in 51 overs (Vikas Mishra six for 41) vs. Delhi; Toss: Delhi.