Delhi v Vidarbha, Ranji Trophy, Group A, Delhi, 1st day December 14, 2013

Nehra six-for decimates Vidarbha for 88

The Report by Amit Shetty in Delhi

Delhi 96 for 2 (Gambhir 49) lead Vidarbha 88 (Nehra 6-16) by eight runs

Ashish Nehra turned the clock back with some incisive swing bowling as his six-wicket haul decimated Vidarbha on a proverbial green-top at the Roshanara Club ground in Delhi.

Nehra, who finished with figures of 6 for 16 - his 14th five-for in first-class cricket - took a wicket in each of his first six overs, running through Vidarbha's top and middle order with effortless ease. The day also had a few controversial moments as play was stopped for 28 minutes after a delivery from Parvinder Awana took off from the good-length spot and hit Vidarbha's Amol Jungade (27) on the right shoulder.

The stoppage led to the use of a heavy roller which probably eased out the pitch for Delhi as they pushed the score to 96 for 2 in 48.3 overs. Gautam Gambhir , the Delhi captain, and Unmukt Chand added 78 runs for the opening stand before both fell to poor shots.

Gambhir won a good toss on a pitch that hardly looked any different from the square around it. It was the kind of track a bowler like Nehra needed to make the Vidarbha batsmen dance to his tunes. The grass on the pitch ensured there was steep but even bounce.

Nehra extracted swing to trouble right- and left-handed batsmen. Vidarbha opener Faiz Fazal (4) and No. 3 Ravi Jangid (1), both left-handed batsmen, were dismissed by with two deliveries that came into them. Vidarbha's right-handed opener Akshay Kolhar also got an incoming ball and he responded by spooning a simple catch to Rajat Bhatia at short leg.

Shalabh Srivastava, the Vidarbha captain, got a ball that pitched on middle before beating the right-hander's bat to hit the off stump.

Nehra soon had a five-for in his fourth over, the eighth of the day, as Ranjit Paradkar edged an away-going delivery to Delhi wicketkeeper, Rahul Yadav. Rashmi Parida watched from the other end as 21 for 5 became 33 for 7 and he tried to fight back with a 28-run stand for the eighth wicket, in the company of Amol Jungade.

The teams had a few anxious moments, however, as Jungade was hit by a delivery from Awana in the 19th over. The batsman was writhing in pain as he cried for medical help and panic struck the Vidarbha bench as match referee Sanjay Patil, in consultation with umpires Syed Khalid and CK Nandan, decided to temporarily halt the match.

The use of heavy rollers during the stoppage did not help Vidarbha's cause. Once play resumed, Awana got a ball to rear up and Parida's leading edge flew to Mithun Manhas at second slip. Debutant Navdeep Saini then bowled a beauty to remove Jungade as the delivery pitched on middle and late swing saw the off-stump go cartwheeling. Saini also dismissed the last batsman to finish with 2 for 18, as Vidarbha's innings folded in only 31.1 overs.

In reply, Chand and Gambhir batted for nearly 38 overs before frittering away a good start. Chand, who hit some crisp drives edged one from part-time seamer Faiz Fazal giving a simple catch to Urvesh Patel behind stumps for a score of 37.

Gambhir once again curbed his aggressive strokeplay but threw it away when he was nearing a well-compiled half century. He chased a wide delivery from Sandeep Singh down the leg side, which was taken well by Urvesh behind the stumps.

Delhi will now be aiming to bat out the whole day tomorrow and take a substantial lead, giving themselves a shot at a bonus-point victory.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on December 16, 2013, 16:02 GMT

    Why is Nehra not in indian team ? He is much more better than others who are been hammered in sauth africa.

  • Ravi on December 15, 2013, 11:16 GMT

    I do not agree on this being a good cricket wicket. It is the diametrically opposite of flat tracks. And, while the flat tracks inflate batsmen's figures, these kind inflate a bowler's. Good wickets provide an opportunity to both to show their skills.

  • Bharat on December 15, 2013, 6:57 GMT

    He has been the most unfortunate bowler in Indian cricket. I hope the selectors wakeup and do some needful. I am not expecting much from the young Indian team in South Africa I think the team need some time to mature and it will eventually happen.

  • Dummy4 on December 15, 2013, 6:50 GMT

    "The grass on the pitch ensured there was steep but even bounce." - this is how pitches must be made, if India wants to be competitive overseas.

  • ravikanth on December 15, 2013, 3:18 GMT

    "Nehra, ... - took a wicket in each of his first six overs..." and "Nehra soon had a five-for in his fourth over..." don't add up.

  • Android on December 15, 2013, 0:08 GMT

    u need sporting pitches like these If you want to challenge the Proteas & the Aussies in their own den

  • M on December 14, 2013, 22:22 GMT

    maybe nehra should play the ind vs sa test series

  • Dummy4 on December 14, 2013, 18:00 GMT

    Gambhir has been true to his words. You need to gust it out in tough conditions for batting. On a greentop, albeit facing bowlers of Vidarbha, one has to score the runs nonetheless. Last time Gambhir captained Delhi, we all know what happened and it was the last time they won the Ranji Trophy and they have the capability to do so again but need to win their remaining matches and hope some other results go their way. Nehra gave a superb performance which is expected of a bowler of his calibre. Despite all the assistance, you still have to pitch the ball in the right areas and he did so to perfection. Hoping for Viru blasting tomorrow and Delhi winning with a bonus point which is extremely crucial for their chances of staying in the competition.

  • Dummy4 on December 14, 2013, 17:44 GMT

    Why is Gautam Gambhir not in the Indian Team????

  • Dummy4 on December 14, 2013, 16:01 GMT

    Why not more pitches like this? atleast prepare them for domestic games and ensure 100s made are worth their weight

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