Ranji Trophy: Delhi bowlers take first day honours

In 62 overs of play that was possible on Day 1 , Assam crawled to 132 for six against Delhi after being put in to bat.

Ranji Trophy match Delhi Assam file photo

With the Assam batsmen showing no intention of keeping the runs ticking, the sustained pressure exerted by Delhi did the damage. (File photo)   -  Ritu Raj Konwar

Delhi bowlers capitalized on the overcautious approach of the Assam batsmen and seized the initiative on a curtailed opening day of their Ranji Trophy campaign-opener on Thursday.

After the damp outfield owing to the overnight rain consumed the pre-lunch session, Delhi won the toss and the exchanges that followed. In 62 overs of play that was possible on Day 1 , Assam crawled to 132 for six with the top-half of the line-up back in the dressing room.

> Scorecard

The bounce and ‘carry’ offered by the surface at the Reliance ground here was well exploited by the bowlers to keep the batsmen guessing. Initially, the passive approach of the top-order batsmen and later the lack of patience of those who followed helped Delhi’s cause. With the batsmen showing no intention of keeping the runs ticking, the sustained pressure exerted by Delhi did the damage.

Though the pace trio of Pradeep Sangwan, Navdeep Saini and Parvinder Awana were more disciplined, it was left-arm spinner Manan Sharma who drew first blood by luring Pallavkumar to doom, two deliveries after the batsman had hit him for a six.

This moment of indiscretion from the opener gave Delhi an unexpected success. Skipper Gokul Sharma, who joined Rahul Hazarika never inspired any confidence. After facing 67 deliveries for just nine runs, Gokul failed to read the other left-arm spinner Varun Sood and was bowled just before tea.

In the third over after resumption, Saini’s persistence paid off as he castled a well-set Hazarika. A run later, a dependable Amit Verma became Saini’s second victim and Assam was in serious trouble.

“I think only if Pallav and Amit had better stroke-selection on this day, we would have been in a much better position,” Gokul said after the match.

"I think we lost two wickets more than what I would have liked after being asked to bat,” he said.

Much depended on Arun Karthik, but he failed to come good. Again, it was a turning delivery from Sood that did the trick as Karthik was bowled playing the wrong line.

What followed was a 24-run partnership that turned out to be the most positive phase of the Assam innings. Tarjinder Singh and Syed Mohammad rotated the strike well and did not miss opportunities to punish the loose ball.

But Manan ended the resurrecting stand with skipper Unmukt Chand completing a low catch to end Mohammad’s innings.

The arm-spinners Manan and Varun were pleased with their efforts on a pitch “that you don’t get often in domestic cricket.” Manan said, “The bounce was to my liking and the key was to keep a length.” Varun said he gained from the way Manan bowled from the other end and was very happy to pick two big wickets.

Ranji Trophy: Results: Day 1

Group A:

>Baroda 285 for two in 80 overs v Gujarat

>Tamil Nadu 87 in 45.3 overs v Mumbai 85 for four in 32 overs

>Railways 257 for five in 90 overs v Punjab

>Madhya Pradesh 292 for seven in 89.5 overs v Uttar Pradesh

Group B:

>Saurashtra 269 for five in 55.3 overs v Rajasthan

>Odisha 134 for six in 70 overs v Vidarbha

>Maharashtra 210 in 71.1 overs v Jharkhand

>Assam 132 for six in 62 overs v Delhi

Group C:

>Himachal 318 for seven in 80 overs v Andhra;

>Tripura 118 in 54 overs v Chhattisgarh 77 for three in 28 overs

>Goa 164 in 74 overs v Hyderabad 28 for one in 10 overs

>Services 143 for six in 57.4 overs v Haryana

>Kerala 263 for seven in 89 overs v Jammu & Kashmir