Ghaziabad: The presence of an array of stars in the line-up did not help Delhi much as the seven-time champions were dismissed for 235 in their first innings against Uttar Pradesh in the Ranji Trophy Group B clash here on Friday. In reply, the hosts were 40 for one at the end of Day One.
It was a big disappointment for the 12,000-strong crowd at the Nehru Stadium as the star attractions of Delhi – Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli and Unmukt Chand – failed to excel with the bat and were sent back before lunch itself.
Had it not been for Mithun Manhas (42) and Punit Bisht (52), two of Delhi’s unsung heroes, both of whom stitched an 86-run partnership for the fifth wicket, the visitors would have found it difficult to cross even 200.
While the boisterous spectators rooted for the famous names in both sides, UP medium pacer Imtiaz Ahmed emerged hero with a disciplined spell that fetched him five wickets for 59 runs.
India cricketer Praveen Kumar, who suffered a cramp in the post-lunch session, finished with figures three for 56.
On a day when the bowlers had a lot to offer given a sporting wicket and misty conditions, UP skipper Suresh Raina won the toss Delhi were asked to bat first. His decision proved right as Delhi lost wickets at regular intervals to be reduced to 98 for four in 31.
If Sehwag (25) and Gambhir (32) were looking for some valuable batting practice with the England series round the corner, the duo disappointed. Sehwag did hit four splendid boundaries during his 45-ball knock, but he was certainly not at his best. It wasn’t long before he edged to Amir Khan off the bowling of Praveen Kumar.
Fortunately for UP, the let off to Sehwag when Raina dropped him on 14 at second slip off pacer Bhuvaneshwar Kumar did not turn out as a costly error.
Gambhir was shade better than his captain but he, too, did not last long and was trapped leg before by Imtiaz.
In Ghaziabad: Delhi 235 (M. Manhas 42, Puneet Bisht 52; Imtiaz Ahmed 5/59, Praveen Kumar 3/56). Uttar Pradesh 40/1 in 13 overs