Saif, Akshdeep defy Delhi

November 2, 2017

Ranji Trophy


The much expected ‘life’ in the pitch, owing to its green look, evaporated quickly on a bright sunny day. Delhi, which opted to exploit the conditions on winning the toss against Uttar Pradesh, restricted the visitors at 270 for eight, on the opening day of the Ranji Trophy cricket league at the Palam ground on Wednesday.

Delhi, with its line up of medium pacers in operation for long, struggled to meet the daily quota of 90 overs despite an additional 30 minutes of play.

A defiant 83 by Mohammed Saif and his 116-run partnership for the third wicket with Akshdeep Nath (59) helped Uttar Pradesh consolidate gains, before skipper Ishant Sharma was rewarded late in the day with two wickets,

The left-handed Saif tried to speed up the scoring after the Uttar Pradesh captain Suresh Raina was bowled, when he tried to cut a ball that kept low. Saif was hammering the bowling, before he was run out by a direct throw from Navdeep Amarjeet Saini, while trying to steal a single.

Saif hit 14 fours and a six in his 169-ball essay which was divided into two parts as he had retired hurt owing to an arm injury.

While diving to regain his crease, Saif had hurt himself, but continued for some time after medical attention, before opting to rest in the pavilion.

It was Saini who got the first wicket for Delhi by having Almas Shaukat caught in the slip by Unmukt Chand. He took two wickets, while Manan Sharma, Kulwant Khejroliya and Milind Kumar got the other wickets.

At the end, when Uttar Pradesh looked to be folding up, Upendra Yadav came up with a defiant unbeaten 48, off 82 balls to keep the team’s hopes of crossing 300 alive.

With the ball keeping low at one end, and offering a bit of lift at the other, Delhi was clear about operating its medium pacers and spinners.

The scores: Uttar Pradesh 270 for eight in 84 overs (Mohammed Saif 83, Akshdeep Nath 59, Upendra Yadav 48 batting, Ishant Sharma two for 27, Navdeep Amarjeet Saini two for 37) vs Delhi.

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