New Delhi: Mithun Manhas played a captain`s knock under pressure as hosts Delhi scored runs at a brisk pace to finish first day`s play at 332 for five against Assam in a Ranji Trophy Super League (Group A) match at the Roshnara ground.
Manhas (100 batting, 163 balls, 9x4, 1x6) scored his 18th first-class century of last delivery of the day with a single.
With Mayank Tehlan (61 batting, 120 balls, 7x4) who is playing his first match of the season for company, Manhas added 146 runs for the unbeaten sixth wicket partnership after Assam seamer Dhiraj Goswami (three for 56) rocked the middle-order reducing Delhi to 187 for five before tea.
Manhas`s knock was even more praiseworthy as it came on a track where the ball was doing a fair bit throughout the day with the odd ball skidding through, the Delhi captain`s vast repertoire of experience came in handy as he not only stemmed the rot that was about set in but also ensured that his team never lost the momentum despite losing quick wickets.
Manhas hit some lovely shots through the on-side but the pull-shot off Ranjit Mali to move from 85 to 89 was the best shot off the day.
Assam captain Amol Mujumdar rightly opted to bowl on a greenish track but it was some poor bowling `complemented` by equally atrocious fielding that let the visitors down.
After Delhi opener Shikhar Dhawan (13) erred in judging an incoming delivery from pacer Abu Nechim Ahmed shouldering arms in the process, Delhi colts skipper Unmukt Chand (59, 9x4, 2x6) and Aditya Jain (58, 9x4) added 103 runs for the second wicket to steady the innings.
While Aditya looked circumspect to start with, 18-year-old Unmukt hit some fluent drives with some flashy shots square off the wicket in between.
It was good to see the youngster use his feet against off-spinner Arlen Konwar hitting him for two huge sixes --- one over deep mid-wicket and the other over long-on.
Just when he looked set for a big score he was snapped up by Parvez Aziz at short leg off Konwar who finally got his revenge.
However in the post lunch season, it was Goswami who suddenly looked like causing some trouble as he first got Aditya caught by Gokul Sharma and then trapped Puneet Bisht (36) leg before. He was on a hat-trick after he got one to lift short of good length as Yogesh Nagar (0) was gobbled up in the slips by Aziz.
If Manhas positive intent, young Tehlan also showed lot of composure as he played the role of second fiddle to perfection.