Tireless medium pacer Parvinder Awana pulled things back for Delhi after opener Rahul Dewan played his part to perfection in providing a firm foundation for Haryana on an eventful opening day of their Ranji Trophy league encounter here on Saturday.

On a pitch that offered slow turn, Haryana opted to bat. After a fruitful opening session that produced 98 runs for a wicket, Haryana tumbled from 152 for two to 219 for six at close. Awana struck twice with the second new ball for figures of three for 39.

Haryana will now aim to score around 275 to put pressure on the Delhi batsmen.

The dry pitch, which is likely to progressively favour the spinners in the remainder of the match, however, did not bring any success to off-spinner Manoj Chauhan, included in the squad after one year.

For the better part of the day, Haryana batsmen called the shots. Dewan, who notched up a century against the visiting England team last month, hit 71 with six boundaries during his 170-ball vigil spread over 244 minutes.

Soon after completing his ninth half-century, Dewan also crossed the 2000-run mark in Ranji Trophy. After doing all the hard work, Dewan, a product of Delhi cricket, rued missing out on a well deserved century.

He was bowled off an inside edge while trying to cut a delivery from left-arm spinner Vikas Mishra. In fact, the lanky Mishra managed to extract bounce and troubled most of the batsmen on view.

Dewan earlier lost the company of fellow opener Nitin Saini, who played aggressively for a 68-ball 45 dotted with six boundaries and a six. The wicket-keeper batsman chose Chauhan for special treatment hitting a six and a four in an over that produced 15 runs.

Off the next over, Saini became Awana’s first victim, deceived by the slower ball and scooping a catch to mid-off.

Sunny Singh, the most prolific scorer for Haryana, was equally guilty of throwing away a good start. Sunny, who hit five boundaries, was showing signs of regaining form when a delivery from Sumit Narwal shattered his stumps.

In the last over before tea, Rajat Bhatia’s off-spin ended young left-hander Abhimanyu Khod’s 80-minute tenure with wicket-keeper Punit Bisht completing the dismissal.

Delhi, which managed to keep Haryana’s scoring rate in check, owed the two post-tea successes to Awana’s disciplined line of attack. Armed with the second new ball, Awana struck in his first and fourth overs. His yorkers trapped Sachin Rana and Amit Mishra leg-before.

With Rahul Dalal going strong at 42, Haryana can still hope to put up a challenging total.

The scores: Haryana — 1st innings: Rahul Dewan b Mishra 71, Nitin Saini c Bhatia b Awana 45, Sunny Singh b Narwal 28, Abhimanyu Khod c Bisht b Bhatia 15, Rahul Dalal (batting) 42, Sachin Rana lbw b Awana 5, Amit Mishra lbw b Awana 6, Jayant Yadav (batting) 3; Extras (b-1, lb-3): 4, Total (for six wickets in 90 overs): 219.

Fall of wickets: 1-69, 2-119, 3-156, 4-168, 5-199, 6-207.

Delhi bowling: Awana 17-3-39-3, Narwal 15-7-25-1, Mishra 26-8-52-1, Chauhan 27-1-89-0, Bhatia 5-2-10-1.

Keywords: Ranji Trophy

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