The Delhi [ Images ] bowling attack suddenly wore a formidable look, but an 80-run partnership between Maharashtra [ Images ] captain Sairaj Bahutule (52 not out) and Munaf Patel [ Images ] (46) saw the visitors crawl to 183 for 7 on the first day of the four-day Ranji Trophy Elite Group A match in Delhi on Friday.
- Ranji Trophy 2005-06: Complete coverage
Delhi skipper Amit Bhandari's decision to put the visitors in paid dividends as the captain himself drew the first blood, castling promising Dheeraj Jadhav for naught, and from there Maharashtra lost wickets at regular intervals as Mukesh Deewan (3 for 44) and Kuunal Lall (2 for 24) ran though their middle order.
Things looked worse with K Aphale retiring hurt on 19 even though he came to bat again towards the end.
Bahutule and Patel finally arrested the slide and Maharashtra, reeling at 97 for six, reached 177 when Patel was removed by Deewan just four runs away from a well-deserved fifty.
Bahutule was unbeaten on 52 off 138 balls, which also included four hits to the fence. Giving him company was Aphale on 24.
Maharashtra (1st innings):
MR Nigde lbw b Deewan 8
DS Jadhav b Bhandari 0
HH Kanitkar lbw b Kunal Lal 17
KD Aphale not out 24
SV Bahutule not out 52
AV Kale c Chopra b Kunal Lal 3
D Mohan c Chopra b Nanda 10
SA Satbhai c Dhawan b Deewan 7
MM Patel c Varun Kumar b Deewan 46
Extras: (b 1, lb 1, w 1, nb 13) 16
Total (7 wickets, 76 overs) 183
To bat: SR Burkul, RP Jadhav.
Fall of wickets: 1-3, 2-19, 3-52, 4-57, 5-82, 6-97, 7-177.
Bowling: Bhandari 20-4-46-1 (7nb), Kunal Lal 21-9-24-2 (1w), Bhatia 5-1-15-0, Deewan 15-1-44-3 (5nb), Nanda 13-3-46-1 (1nb), Manhas 2-0-6-0.
A Bhandari, A Chopra, M Manhas, S Dhawan, M Tehlan, R Bhatia, P Chawla, +Varun Kumar, C Nanda, Kunal Lal, M Deewan.