Kolkata: A reckless batting performance saw Delhi bundled out for 90 runs, their lowest against Karnataka, who took a healthy 41-run first innings lead on the opening day of their Ranji Trophy Group B match here on Thursday.
Put in to bat, the group B leaders Delhi lost their first wicket for zero and skipper Gautam Gambhir (2) was the second to go with an atrocious pull, while the inform Rishabh Pant, fresh from his 308 against Maharashtra, seemed to be in a hurry and got out for 24.
Delhi lost their top five batsmen for 65 runs with no intent to occupy the crease. Karnataka bowlers did not have to do anything extraordinary to dismiss them in 35.5 overs in two hours and 38 minutes in the extended first session.
Left-arm pacer Sreenath Aravind, who replaced the injured skipper R Vinay Kumar, returned with 4/12 in his first match of the season while off-spinner K Gowtham scalped 3/26 and Abhimanyu Mithun picked up 2/29.
In reply, Karnataka showed Delhi the way as R Samarth (53) and Mayank Agarwal (56) put up a solid 87-run opening partnership.
Making a comeback after a bout of Chikungunya, India frontline pacer Ishant Sharma returned wicket-less and bowled just 10 overs in four short spells.
Sharma was expensive with the new ball giving four runs an over and Samarth, fresh from his career-best 235, hit the India pacer for six with a clean pull en route to his second half-century from as many matches.
It was Vikas Tokas (2/35) who gave the breakthrough when Samarth took an edge, before Karnataka lost two wickets for 10 runs to close the day for 124 for three at stumps on day one.
Leading in his first match, Karun Nair was batting on three with night watchman Abhimanyu Mithun on seven.
Earlier, Nair won the toss on a pitch with some green tinge to invite the star-studded Delhi line-up to bat and got the breakthrough in the fourth ball of the day.
Chand was hit on his pad by a rising ball from Mithun to be adjudged LBW.
Playing his first Ranji match after making a Test comeback after two years, Gambhir failed to hold the innings together and his mistimed pull took a top edge to be caught by Karun Nair at wide mid-on.
The leading run-getter of the season, Pant, who has a triple century and a century, got a reprieve on the first ball after being dropped at second slip by Mithun.
But he failed to make it big choosing to go for big shots and was dismissed for 24 which included a boundary and three sixes.
Delhi's previous lowest against Karnataka was 138 in 2005-06 season in Bangalore.
Delhi: 90 all out in 35.5 overs (Arvind Sreenath 4/12, Gowtham 3/26, Mithun 2/29).
Karnataka: 131/3 in 52 overs (Mayank Agarwal 56, R Samarth 53).