All-rounder Joginder Sharma and leg spinner Amit Mishra combined forces splendidly to help North Zone bundle out the visiting Zimbabwe President's XI for a paltry 94 on the opening day of their Duleep Trophy league match in Mumbai on Thursday.
Joginder, who ironically would not have been in the playing XI but for the pull-out of pace bowler Vikram Singh due to a foot injury, cut a swathe through the top order to finish with superb figures of six for 21 in 12 overs at the Wankhede Stadium.
Mishra, employed as the fifth bowler by North skipper Amit Bhandari, who led the team after regular captain Dinesh Mongia pulled out because of a shoulder strain, mopped up the tail to return figures of four for 16.
The two Haryana bowlers ensured that the visitors' first innings, after Zimbabwe won the toss, lasted only 43.2 overs and 188 minutes as the match started after lunch due to wet ground conditions following overnight unseasonal thundershowers.
Only left-handed opener Neil Ferreira (22 after a stay of 132 minutes) and the hard-hitting lower order batsman Charles Coventry (27 with 2 sixes and a four) reached double figures during a pathetic batting display by the African team.
By stumps, North openers Ravnit Ricky (27) and Shikhar Dhawan (33) managed 62 runs in partnership in 21overs during the elongated last session under fading light.
Zimbabwe President's XI first innings:
T Duffin lbw J Sharma 9
N Ferreira b J Sharma 22
W Sibanda c Dharmani b J Sharma 0
H Masakadza c Dharmani b J Sharma 0
D Ebrahim lbw J Sharma 5
B Taylor lbw Mishra 3
C Coventry c Dharmani b Mishra 27
P Utseya c Bhandari b Mishra 4
B Mahwire b J Sharma 7
A Ireland not out 6
G Cremer lbw Mishra 0
Extras: (b 4, lb 1, nb 6) 11
Total: (all out in 43.2 overs, 188 mins) 94
Fall of wickets: 1-22, 2-27, 3-32, 4-40, 5-47, 6-51, 7-67, 8-79, 9-93.
Bowling: Gagandeep Singh 6-2-9-0, Amit Bhandari 4-2-5-0, Sarandeep Singh 12-3-38-0, Joginder Sharma 12-3-21-6, Amit Mishra 9.2-3-16-4.
North Zone first innings:
R Ricky not out 27
S Dhawan not out 33
Extras: (lb 1, w 1) 2
Total: (for no loss in 21 overs) 62
Bowling: B Mahwire 6-1-14-0, A Ireland 5-1-14-0, V Sibanda 3-0-14-0, G Cremer 5-0-19-0, P Utseya 2-2-0-0.