Sharma too hot for Odisha

Debutant scalps four as Delhi bowl visitors out for lowly 143

Manan Sharma's Ranji Trophy debut could not have been sweeter. The left-arm spinner snapped four wickets as Odisha folded up for 143 in their first innings against Delhi on the first day of a Group ‘B’ Ranji Trophy match here at the Ferozeshah Kotla on Friday.

Manan, who played for Delhi as a junior, switched to Haryana after being ignored by the selectors. He was left without a team for a year after Haryana dropped him before making the cut to the Delhi squad on the insistence of chief coach Vijay Dahiya.

The 21-year-old responded to Dahiya’s faith by returning with the figures of 8.1-3-30-4, after he was picked as the second spinner in Delhi's new-look bowling attack. Pawan Suyal and Parvinder Awana came in place of Pradeep Sangwan and Ashish Nehra with Sumit Narwal being the third seamer.

A handy batsman, he was batting at one alongwith Mithun Manhas (12) after Delhi got off to a slow start, closing the day at 62/3 in 31 overs.

Electing to bat, Odisha were rocked by the talented left-arm seamer Suyal (3/43). He struck in his first over when he induced an edge from opener Paresh Patel and before long trapped Biplab Samantray to reduce Odisha to 39 for three.  

Suyal got good support from Narwal ((2/35), who bowled a disciplined line. Narwal accounted for Govinda Poddar to a brilliant drive to his right by wicket-keeper Punit Bisht  before hitting a well-set Odisha captain Natraj Behera in the abdomen in the 12.1st over and forcing him to retire.

Narwal then showed superb reflexes when he stuck out his right hand to catch a straight drive from Rakesh Mohanty. Awana, playing his first Ranji match this season, too chipped in with the wicket of Abhilash Mallick who edged him to the wicket-keeper. Odisha entered lunch at 83/5.

With the pitch becoming conducive for batting, Manan was given some harsh treatment by Deepak Behera (27) but had the last laugh, when he got him caught at short leg by Milind Kumar. Deepak's dismissal forced Natraj to return to the crease but Manan was on a roll.

The youngster was on a hat-trick when he accounted for Haladhar Das, caught at slip by Shikhar Dhawan, and Basant Mohanty, trapped leg before, in the 42nd over but Alok Mangaraj denied him the chance. He later dismissed Mangaraj to wipe off the tail after Natraj (35) was caught behind off Suyal.

In reply, Delhi's lost Unmukt Chand and Mohit Sharma for 41 runs. Dhawan consumed 70 balls for his 22. Basant Mohanty (2/21) took the wickets of Chand and Dhawan.

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