Soon after being dismissed for just 172 runs in the first innings,its unlikely Punjab would have thought they would have the edge on the first day of their Ranji match against Gujarat. However on a day where the bowlers dominated,they struck back to leave the visitors reeling at 61 for six at Mohali still trailing by 111 runs.
A cold November morning and a tinge of green on the PCA Stadium pitch indicated it would be a hard day for the batsmen. Indeed apart from Punjab opener Jiwanjot Singh,who displayed grit and determination in making a solid 86,there was no one who stood up to be counted. The next highest scorer of the day made just 22 as pacers swung the ball and kept beating the bat all day.
Gujarat had set the tone in the morning,winning the toss and letting their seamers use the conditions. Playing his first first class season,Jaspreet Bhumrah,with his unusual release action,unsettled the Punjab batsmen. Mandeep Singh,Taruwar Kohli and Ravi Inder Singh had all departed cheaply with the score reading 50/3 in 24th over,when Uday Kaul joined Jiwanjot Singh. The two stitched together the only meaningful partnership of the innings taking the score to 117 before Kaul was caught behind off Mehul Patel.
It was Bhumrah who finished with a maiden five-for (5/52) and left-arm spinner Rakesh Dhurvs (3/37) turn to hasten Punjabs end as the two scythed through the lower middle order and the tail with the last five wickets falling for 20 runs.
But Punjab bounced back immediately as medium pacers Sandeep Sharma,Manpreet Gony and Siddharth Kaul got into the groove early. Gujarat were tottering at 36 for 6 after 12.3 overs before Rujul Bhatt and Akshar Patel took the team to the close of play without further loss.
Brief scores: Punjab 172 all out in 70.1 overs (Jiwanjot SIngh 86,Uday Kaul 22,Mayank Sidhana 16,Jasprit Bumrah 5/52,Rakesh Dhruv 3/37); Gujarat: 61 for 6 in 17.1 overs (Samit Gohil 14,Akshar Patel 14 no,Sandeep Sharma 3/43)