Ranji Trophy: Delhi, Himachal Pradesh share Day 1 spoils

Delhi finished the day 305 for eight after losing four for 40. Mayank Dagar was the pick of the bowlers for Himachal Pradesh.

Dhruv Shorey top-scored for Delhi with 88.   -  V. V. Krishnan

Having been ignored for the Vijay Hazare Trophy this year before being handed his First-Class debut against Himachal on Monday morning, Hiten Dalal made sure there would be no overlooking in the immediate future with a confident, brisk 79. Delhi, electing to bat, stumbled to 305 for the loss of eight wickets at the end of the opening day of its Ranji Trophy campaign against Himachal Pradesh at the Feroz shah Kotla ground. Dubious umpiring did not help its cause.

The host looked set for a much bigger total when Dalal and Gautam Gambhir stroked with ease against the Himachal bowlers. Rishi Dhawan and Pankaj Jaswal hardly troubled the batsmen with the new ball and the introduction of spin made little difference as Delhi raced to 96 in 16 overs before a Mayank Dagar delivery ricocheted off Gambhir's pads to Priyanshu Khaduri at short leg, only for umpire Navdeep Singh Sindhu to raise his finger. A furious Gambhir walked off for 44 but it affected the scoring rate.

As it happened

Dhruv Shorey joined Dalal in the middle and the two added 66 runs before Dalal was cleaned up by Himachal skipper Prashant Chopra, failing to read the line of a turning ball. “There was no hurry but I think I got a bit relaxed and played a casual shot. It is disappointing to miss a 100, specially on debut, but more importantly it affected the team otherwise we could have been closer to 400 today,” Dalal admitted.

Till then, there had been no let-up in his strokes. With a liking for the leg-side, the negative line resorted to by Himachal bowlers was of no concern as the 24-year old flicked and drove with ease before falling in the final over before lunch. Once he fell, the rest of the batsmen barring Shorey faltered.

He was not the only one to miss a century as Shorey, running out of partners towards the end of the day, was finally caught at mid-off on 88 with even 300 looking doubtful at one point. Anuj Rawat and Lalit Yadav could not capitalise on their starts and Nitish Rana had a forgettable outing on captaincy debut. Dagar was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets.

“I would not say they took wickets as much as we threw ours away, trying to play attacking shots. The shot selection went wrong,” Dalal said but insisted that there was no concern. “Our bowling is way better than theirs, we are confident of doing much better,” he added.

Scoreboard

Delhi 1st innings: Gautam Gambhir c Khanduri b Dagar 44, Hiten Dalal b Chopra 79, Dhruv Shorey c Sharma b Vashisht 88, Nitish Rana c & b Jaswal 6, Himmat Singh c Dagar b Singh 10, Anuj Rawat c Vashisht b Singh 28, Lalit Yadav lbw b Dagar 26, Varun Sood batting 18, Ishant Sharma lbw b Dagar 0, Vikas Mishra batting 5, Extras (b 1) 1; Total (for eight wickets in 89 overs) 305.

Fall of wickets: 1-96, 2-162, 3-181, 4-196, 5-252, 6-256, 7-292, 8-292

Himachal bowling: Pankaj Jaswal 11-0-50-1, Rishi Dhawan 17-4-50-0, Gurvinder Singh 17-4-57-2, Mayank Dagar 21-3-57-3, Akash Vashisht 11-0-46-1, Prashant Chopra 12-1-44-1