Delhi v Uttar Pradesh, Ranji Trophy final, Mumbai, 1st day January 16, 2008

Seamers strike for Delhi after Tanmay hundred

Uttar Pradesh 292 for 7 (Srivastava 105, Shukla 80*, Sangwan 3-73, Narwal 3-66) v Delhi
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Tanmay Srivastava attacked at every opportunity, slashing to the cover fence each time the bowlers gave width © Mid-Day

Tanmay Srivastava, who cut short his under-19 tour of South Africa to play the Ranji final, chose the occasion to script his maiden first-class hundred and pushed Uttar Pradesh to 292 for 7 by close of play on the opening day at the Wankhede Stadium. Ravikant Shukla, dropped when on 13, made an unbeaten 80 but Delhi clawed back into the game with late wickets to justify their decision to bowl first and, with the wicket promising to be at its best for batting over the next two days, will reckon they have a slight edge.

As the curator promised, the track was firm and offered some movement and good carry in the initial hour, and there were a few plays and misses by the batsmen.

Tanmay announced his refreshingly positive intent with a clipped first-ball boundary off his legs, followed by a steer to third man, before he settled down to play a fluent innings. He took a full stride forward at every opportunity and played as close to the body as possible. Though beaten on a few occasions like the others, he didn't push his bat away from the body. Instead, he was quick to go on the attack, slashing to the cover boundary each time the bowlers gave width, and cutting when they dragged back the length. The technique was quite simple: he stood still at the crease, had a slight forward trigger movement but took care never to press that foot too much across his stumps.

Rohit Srivastava, his fellow opener, and Suresh Raina failed to do that and were trapped in front. Rohit was a touch unlucky, as the ball appeared to be sliding down leg side but the technique did expose him to the lbw threat. Mohammad Kaif was edgy throughout his short stay before he cut the legspinner Chetanya Nanda's first delivery to slip for Aakash Chopra to hold a sharp catch.

Tanmay found an able ally in Shukla and the two led the recovery act with a 101-run partnership. Shulka was to get a slice of luck early in his innings. Nanda had placed his midwicket fielder slightly deeper than normal and lured Shukla to play the slog-sweep but Narwal failed to hold on. Shukla settled down after that, showing good judgment outside off stump and grew in confidence as his innings progressed. He played his cuts and pulls whenever offered the opportunity.

As the partnership blossomed, Gautam Gambhir, the Delhi captain, might have worried over his decision at the toss but Tanmay's wicket opened the door for Delhi to fight back. He had just pulled Nanda for six to bring up his century but fell a ball later, steering Sangwan to third slip. Piyush Chawla followed, slashing a wide one from Narwal to gully, Amir Khan fell to a diving catch by Chopra at first slip and Praveen Kumar pulled to deep midwicket.

Delhi's desperation had begun to pay off but their bowlers could have been more disciplined earlier in the day. Gambhir, who kept at least two slips through most of the day, was seen on occasion gesticulating to the bowlers to hit the channel outside off stump. Sangwan found that line more often than the others but he too was guilty of bowling a touch short.

Amit Bhandari failed to find his outswinger with the new ball and struggled to hit the right line when he went round the stumps later, while Narwal offered the batsman width throughout the day. When the bowlers hit the right areas, they had the batsmen in trouble. Delhi will feel confident of prising out the remaining three wickets early on Thursday and then expect their strong top order to do the job with the bat.

Sriram Veera is a staff writer at Cricinfo