Ranji Trophy, Day 2: Mukul Dagar hits maiden ton as UP take first innings lead against Delhi

Biswajit Jha

Ghaziabad: Some good tight bowling by Delhi bowlers led by Sumit Narwal saw Delhi crawling back into the match despite conceding the first innings lead and remaining wicket less for more than half of the day.

At the end of the day 2, Uttar Pradesh were 292/6, a lead of 57 runs.

Mukul Dagar (116), who scored the maiden ton in his second first class match, was the hero of the day.

He, along with the former India player Mohammad Kaif, put together a brilliant 196-run stand which helped the hosts secure a first innings lead which may decide the fate of the match.

Delhi bowlers, who bowled without any purpose till the last hour of the post tea session, finally got some wickets to make the run-scoring a little difficult in the last session of the day.

Sumit Narwal was the pick of the bowlers with 3 wickets while Ishant Sharma got two.

Lunch Report

Mohammad Kaif and Mukul Dagar scored fine fifties as Uttar Pradesh took the upper hand in the Ranji Trophy group B match against Delhi.

At lunch, UP were 152/1 with Kaif and Dagar, unbeaten on 64 and 61, respectively. They look all set to give UP a first innings lead.

Their 136-run stand has been the main attraction of the morning session in which Delhi failed to take a single wicket.

India discard Kaif was the more attractive of the two. Despite getting hit by a scorching Ishant Sharma bouncer early in the day, the gutsy middle order batsman, didn`t backtrack but took the attack to the opposition. He hooked Ashish Nehra over square leg for a six to show that he was in mood to get bogged down. From then on he scored all round the wicket showing glimpses of the time when he was an integral part of the Indian middle order.

With a few places up for grabs in the Indian middle order, a big innings from Kaif will most definitely put him in contention for the Indian Test team.

Opener Mukul Dagar also played a good innings. He looked assured against the pacers and played some attractive shots through the off side. He lent much needed support to Kaif in a bid to achieve a healthy first innings lead over Delhi.

Though Ishant Sharma looked penetrative in the morning, other bowlers were negotiated very well by both the batsmen.

Tea Report

Delhi took a couple of wickets in the post lunch session but not before Uttar Pradesh had taken the important first innings lead.

At tea, UP were 245/3, with a lead of 10 runs with 7 wickets in hand.

However, the highlight of the post lunch session was the compact century by young opener Mukul Dagar who got out on the stroke of tea after playing a classy innings. His 116 came off 214-balls and was laced with 14 fours.

He looked to be a fine promising player with a cool head on his shoulder. He was compact and played some attractive shots. His backfoot cover drives were a treat to the eyes.

Meanwhile, Kaif, who played very well for his 91, missed a well-deserved century when Vikas Misra got him half an hour before tea.

Kaif and Dagar combined together to put on a superb 196-run stand which helped UP to attain the first innings lead.

Last Session Report

Uttar Pradesh end the day at 292/6. They lead by 57 runs with 4 wickets in hand. Delhi bowled very well in the last session. Raina batting on 19* off 70 balls has been very patient and has curbed his natural instincts considering wickets were tumbling at the other end. The last session fetched 47 runs for the Uttar Pradesh team.