Kaif, Dagar frustrate Delhi

Delhi were left with wounded egos for the second day straight after Mukul Dagar and Mohammad Kaif stitched a century partnership to steer Uttar Pradesh to a crucial first innings lead in a Ranji Trophy Group B match here on Saturday.

The weather, too, conspired against Delhi with the sun dispelling the haze and easing the pitch to favour the batsmen.

The 21-year-old Dagar (116, 214b, 14x4), playing only his second first class match, was quick to grab the opportunity by raising his maiden century. Dagar, along with his overnight partner Kaif (91, 175b, 11x4, 1x6), occupied the crease for nearly one-and-a-half session to rustle up a 196-run partnership for the second wicket.

Though Delhi fought back in the last session by picking three wickets to reduce Uttar Pradesh to 292/6 in 95.4 overs , the day belonged to the hosts, who took a 57-runs lead. At stumps, captain Suresh Raina (19) and Amir Khan (4) were at the crease.

Delhi obviously must have been keen to comeback after their opening day debacle for 235. With the four-pronged pace attack of Ashish Nehra, Ishant Sharma, Sumit Narwal and Pradeep Sangwan, a comeback would not have been a wishful thinking. Delhi skipper Virender Sehwag suffered a minor finger injury while trying to pounce a difficult chance off Kaif at slips in the second session and did not take the field for the rest of the day.

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