After wet outfield delayed the start by close to two hours at the Just Cricket Ground near here, bad light stopped proceedings with a good 90 minutes remaining for the scheduled close. Play was eventually called off 10 minutes from time.
However, in the 49 overs of cricket that was possible, the pace duo of Tanveer-Ul-Haq (17-6-36-2) and Ishan Porel (12-7-26-3) made sure that Faiz Fazal would not be left disappointed with his decision to field first under largely overcast conditions.
AS IT HAPPENED
Right-hand bat Snell Patel (5, 25b) was the first to go, trapped leg-before by Tanveer before Porel got the prized scalp of Shubman Gill (6, 13b). The Blue skipper started with an imperious square cut to the boundary but was out caught behind when the cherry brushed his gloves as he attempted to leave the ball.
Ruturaj Gaikwad made a patient 30 and even sent Tanveer soaring over the long off fence once. But the left-arm pacer had his revenge, rearranging the stumps as Gaikwad shouldered arms. When Porel forced Anmolpreet Singh to edge to Dhruv Shorey at first slip, it was left to the seasoned Ankeet Bawne (14 batting, 74b) to shore up the innings.
In the company of Ricky Bhui, he dug deep and even survived a probing 10-over period as Porel and Tanveer hunted in tandem. Runs came down to a trickle but crucially no wickets were lost. The introduction of spinner Rahul Chahar in the 35th over however appeared to relax the batsmen. It didn’t take long for Ankit Rajpoot from the other end to draw Bhui into an expansive drive and have him caught in the slips.
Porel returned just after Tea to dismiss the experienced Jalaj Saxena, caught by ‘keeper Akshay Wadkar, to ensure that India Green will start day two on the ascendancy.
“I thought we could have bowled even better,” said Tanveer later. “But overall we bowled in the right areas. Conditions were good for bowling, but whenever we erred, we were also punished. Ruturaj hit me for a six and same happened to Porel when he bowled one short. The target is now to get the remaining wickets within 15-20 overs.”