Vadodara: Delhi bowlers put up a superb bowling performance to bowl out Rest of India for 252 in the opening day of the five-day Irani Cup at the Reliance stadium on Wednesday.
In reply, Delhi were 21 for no loss at stumps with Aakash Chopra batting on 16 and Gautam Gambhir on 4.
ROI captain Anil Kumble won the toss and elected to bat on the lifeless track at the IPCL stadium. Openers Jaffer (50) and Dravid gave a solid start, putting together 77 runs before Jaffer perished in the 25th over. Rahul Dravid on the other hand too, seemed to have batted himself into a semblance of form before Ishant Sharma trapped him plumb in front of wicket, just four short of his half century, immediately after lunch. Dravid"s dismissal triggered a collapse as the remaining batsmen failed to apply themselves on what seemed a placid track.
Utilising the variable weather conditions in Vadodra"s IPCL Sports Complex to the hilt, Ishant wrecked havoc on the Rest of India camp by claiming two vital wickets of S Badrinath and Rahul Dravid in the post lunch session to start the Rest"s downward slide. Badrinath, who replaced Sourav Ganguly"s in the Test squad, departed after scoring a scratchy 16 of 62 balls.
VVS Laxman too was dismissed before tea, falling to Sehwag"s guile. The free-flowing Hyderabadi, who, earlier was strangled for runs, eventually ran out of patience, swiping into the safe hands of Mithun Manhas at mid-wicket.
Resuming at 167/4 after tea, MS Dhoni and Anil Kumble failed to offer any resistance to the penetrative Delhi bowling. On a comeback trail, Mohammed Kaif too, failed to make any statement as Nanda lapped him up for 29 as from 111/1 at that stage, the Rest slumped to 187/8.
A late rear guard action from Harbhajan Singh (26 not out), RP Singh (18) and Munaf Patel (19) helped ROI to 252. Ishant Sharma, Chetanya Nanda and Pradeep Sangwan were wreckers-in-chief for Delhi snaring 3 wickets each, while captain Virender Sehwag picked the crucial wicket of VVS Laxman.
The Irani Trophy match is the only warm-up game before the first Test against Australia, which starts on Bangalore on Oct 9.