Delhi took firm control of the proceedings after a collective performance from bowlers saw them bowl out Odisha for a lowly 237 in a Ranji Trophy group B encounter in Mohali.
At stumps, Delhi comfortably reached 43 for no loss in 10 overs with skipper Gautam Gambhir reaching 26 in company of Unmukt Chand, who was batting on 13. Earlier, Gambhir won the toss and put Odisha into bat.
Veteran seamer Sumit Narwal (2/34) used the new ball to good effect as he remnoved Ranji Singh (4) with a outgoing delivery and Sandeep Pattanaik (7) with an incoming delivery.
Once Gobind Poddar (24) and Anurag Sarangi (18) were dismissed in quick succession, Odisha were in trouble at 59 for 4.
Seasoned Biplab Samantray (62) and Subhranshu Senapati (76) added 145 runs for the 5th wicket as Odisha recovered at one stage to be 204 for five. While Biplab hit eight fours and a six in 112 balls, Senapati hit 10 boundaries in 153 balls.
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But a lower-order collapse initiated by left-arm spin duo of Varun Sood (3/23) and Manan Sharma (2/52) saw Odisha lose last five wickets for only 33 runs.
Ishant Sharma, who opened the bowling, sent down 14 overs with a wicket for 29 runs to show for his efforts. Ishant has now sent down a total of 35 overs in the two innings that he has bowled so far since his comeback from Chikungunya fever.
More than the number of wickets that he gets, Ishant’s fitness and the number of spells that he bowls will be important for the national selectors with the first Test against England, only a fortnight away.
Brief Scores: Odisha 1st Innings 237 (Biplab Samantray 69, Subhranshu Senapati 76, Varun Sood 3/23, Sumit Narwal 2/34, Ishant Sharma 1/29) Delhi 1st Innings 43/0 (Gautam Gambhir 26 batting).
Verma, Aravind steal honours on day one
Two seasoned, left-handed Bengaluru-born players — Amit Verma and Sreenath Aravind — representing rival teams, stole the honours on day one of a Group B Ranji Trophy match between Assam and Karnataka in Mumbai.
While pacer Aravind wrecked the Assam batting line-up after they chose to bat first at the Bandra-Kurla complex ground with his career’s second five-wicket in an innings haul, his former statemate Verma stood rocklike to prop up Assam’s first innings by notching his 11th first class hundred in his 62nd game.
At stumps, Assam were 268 for six after recovering from 16 for three and then 166 for six by riding on no. 4 batsman Verma’s diligent, unbeaten knock of 125 in 340 minutes that contained 18 fours and a six and came off 259 balls.
Assam 1st innings: 268 for six (Amit Verma 125 batting, S Purkayastha 56 batting; S Aravind 5/49).