Uttar Pradesh v Rest of India, Irani Trophy, 1st day October 9, 2006

UP fight back as wickets tumble

Stumps Rest of India 131 for 7 (Jaffer 45, Kumar 3-27, Srivastava 3-47) trail Uttar Pradesh 148 (Shiva Shukla 52, Kumar 42, Balaji 4-29, Zaheer 4-46) by 17 runs
Scorecard
How they were out

Led by their medium pacers, Uttar Pradesh regained control of a situation they had contrived to lose with the bat by reducing Rest of India to 131 for seven by stumps on day one of the Irani Trophy season opener at Nagpur. Praveen Kumar had gotten UP off to a promising start with the bat before his dismissal sparked a manic collapse at the hands of Lakshmipathy Balaji and Zaheer Khan, but his canny medium pace changed all that. For those interested in stats, it was only the second time in the Irani Trophy's 47-year history that so many wickets (17) fell on the opening day.

Wasim Jaffer and Gautam Gambhir had seemingly blunted the attack with a 64-run opening stand, but Kumar nipped out three wickets to shift the momentum back UP's way. Gambhir had begun with some confident strokes either side of the pitch, but a shocking error in judgment saw him shoulder arms to Kumar's medium pace, only for the ball to cut back in and disturb the off stump. Kumar then changed to a slightly wider length, and immediately snapped up Jaffer, who played away from his body for a tame catch to gully. Dinesh Karthik, who was cramped for room, slashed to the same position.

There were no demons in this pitch, and no pace in UP's attack, but the shot selection among the opposition batsmen was questionable. In between Kumar's strikes, Shalabh Srivastava, the left-arm medium pacer, removed Robin Uthappa and Venugopal Rao - playing shots that were just not on - to leave ROI wilting under the pressure. These wickets made the UP fielders sprightly, too; drives were intercepted with regularity, and Shivakant Shukla, who held three catches at gully, pulled off an acrobatic dive and fired in a good throw to run out Murali Kartik. Srivastava then returned to york Zaheer's leg stump and leave UP with a slender 17-run lead.

ROI's folding was much like UP's earlier in the day. On a warm and sultry morning, Kumar showed his aggressive intent in a 73-run opening stand with Shivakant with six boundaries and a thumped six. With a fifty seemingly there for the taking - he had just smoked a fine cover drive through the offside with consummate ease - Kumar threw it all away. Balaji landed one on a good length, straightened it, and Kumar flashed without the slightest foot movement to edge to the 'keeper.

His dismissal changed the tone of the innings, and the run rate. The first 50 came up in just 49 deliveries, the next consumed 123. Of the remaining batsmen, only Shivakant went on to get a decent score in the face of an impressive bowling performance from Balaji, Zaheer and Kartik. Shivakant's dismissal to Kartik, on 52, allowed Balaji and Zaheer to run amok. Both bowlers were accurate and nippy, and constantly posed a threat to a brittle lower order. Jyoti Yadav, UP's captain, didn't trouble the scorers as he departed leg before to Zaheer in the first over after the interval. It was a dubious decision because of the height and it wasn't the last either, as umpire Shashank Ranade soon adjudged Srivastava out in the same manner when it was clear that the ball would have missed leg stump. Balaji picked up his fourth when he trapped Gyanendra Pandey under the knee roll in front of middle and leg, and UP were bowled out for a total that looked very under par given their confident start.

How they were out

Uttar Pradesh

Praveen Kumar c Karthik b Balaji 42 (73 for 1)
Leaden-footed flash at one on a good length, thick edge

Tanmay Srivastava b Zaheer 1 (76 for 2)
Played down the wrong line to one that nipped through bat and pad

Shiva Shukla c Badrinath b Kartik 52 (110 for 3)
Deceived by the flight, turned to a diving forward short leg

Ravikant Shukla c Badrinath b Kartik 9 (115 for 4)
Tapped off the back foot to forward short leg

Rizwan Shamshad c Karthik b Balaji 0 (115 for 5)
Lunged forward, tried to withdraw the bat, thin edge to the 'keeper

Jyoti Yadav lbw b Zaheer 0 (115 for 6)
Slanted back in from outside off stump

Amir Khan c Ojha b Balaji 6 (128 for 7)
Pulled one high to mid-on

Avinash Yadav c Karthik b Zaheer 0 (134 for 8)
Played away from his body, brilliant one-handed take to his left

Shalabh Srivastava lbw Zaheer 6 (144 for 9)
Struck by a full delivery going down leg

Gyanendra Pandey lbw b Balaji 18 (148 for 10)
Pitched in line and rapped him under the knee roll

Rest of India

Gautam Gambhir b Kumar 20 (64 for 1)
Left one that cut back sharply and clipped off stump

Robin Uthappa c Shivakant Shukla b Srivastava 8 (74 for 2)
Drove loosely at a wide one and was snapped up at gully

Wasim Jaffer c Shivakant Shukla b Kumar 45 (74 for 3)
Drove away from the body, simple catch to gully

Venugopal Rao c Khan b Srivastava 0 (74 for 4)
Played away from the body, thin edge to the 'keeper

Dinesh Karthik c Shivakant Shukla b Kumar 11 (92 for 5)
Cramped for room, cut hard but right to gully

Murali Kartik run out (Shivakant Shukla) 5 (108 for 6)
Slashed to point, they set off, sent back, fielder fires in a fine throw

Zaheer Khan b Srivastava 1 (116 for 7)
Played all over a quick yorker on leg stump

Jamie Alter is editorial assistant of Cricinfo

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