On a seaming wicket of Roshanara Club ground, 13 wickets fell in a day as Delhi were reduced to 60 for 3 at stumps on day one after dismissing Maharashtra for 196 in the first innings. Delhi skipper Shikhar Dhawan won the toss and elected to field. Maharashtra openers Harshad Khadiwale and Virag Awate added 26 runs in six overs before Sumit Narwal, the Delhi pacer, struck twice in his first over.
Awate was cleaned up as he went for the drive but the ball cut back sharply and clattered the stumps. Sangram Atitkar lasted two balls and was caught behind trying to defend the ball which nipped away. Vikas Tokas, playing his debut first-class match, castled Khadiwale in his first over and Maharshtra skipper Rohit Motwani followed soon, giving a simple catch to Unmukt Chand at gully off Narwal.
The 30-year-old Narwal exploited the helpful conditions to great effect and got the ball to jag around both ways. The figures of his first spell are 6-2-13-3. Maharashtra were in strife at 37 for 4 when Kedar Jadhav, centurion of the last match, strode on the crease to join Ankit Bawne. Jadhav cracked a couple of fine boundaries - a neat cover drive and a deft flick through midwicket - as Maharashtra crawled past 50. Bawne was dogged on the other end and focused on knocking around the ball for singles and doubles. They both added 38 runs for the fifth before Jadhav was undone by Rajat Bhatia. He tried to slash the ball over point but ended up being caught at gully by Unmukt.
Chirag Khurana opened his account by a peach of a cover drive but Pradeep Sangwan didn't let him add any more run. The ball climbed onto him and touched his gloves on its way to the wicketkeeper as Maharashtra lost their sixth wicket. Bawne went on compiling runs without much ado and unfurled a fine late cut to notch up a boundary as his team reached 100 runs. At lunch, Maharashtra were 107 for 6.
Shrikant Mundhe blasted a string of boundaries after lunch before a terrible mix-up resulted in his dismissal. He made 42 off 73 balls. Bawne reached his eighth first-class half-century by pinching Narwal for a couple of runs. It took him 114 balls and he thrashed six boundaries. Anupam Sanklecha was the next man to perish as he played an ugly hoick off Sangwan to see his stumps uprooted. Sangwan could have had him earlier when he castled him in his previous over but it was declared a no-ball.
Bawne was running out of partners from the other end and he finally decided to rack up few quick runs but his endeavour was doused by Pawan Suyal who had him caught behind the wicket for 58. Punit Bisht grabbed the fourth catch of the innings. Last batsman Samad Fallah clubbed a couple of fortunate boundaries - an edge between wicketkeeper and first slip and a top edge to fine leg - and was castled by Suyal as Maharashtra finished their first innings at 196 in 55.2 overs.
Narwal was pick of the bowlers for Delhi as he chalked up three wickets; Sangwan and Suyal took two wickets each. Sangwan was bit expensive - conceding 54 runs in 12 overs - and sent down seven no-balls.
Delhi too started on a bad note as Fallah produced two brilliant deliveries to chisel Chand and Mohit Sharma early. Chand played two attractive drives but was bamboozled by a delivery which angled in and cut away late to send his off stump cartwheeling. Sharma shouldered arms to an in-dipper and was cleaned up for a duck. Dhawan survived a couple of vacuous lbw appeals and was beaten consistently outside the off stump. His stay at the wicket was streaky and he committed a harakiri by calling for a run which didn't exist. He pushed the ball to mid-off and called for a single but Mundhe was nimble and he produced a direct throw as Dhawan was clearly outside the crease. He scratched out 13 off 45 balls.
Delhi were in a spot at 34 for 3 but Mithun Manhas and Vaibhav Rawal didn't let Maharashtra bowlers take any more wickets as they were unbeaten on 12 and 16 respectively when the day was called.
Bawne, who top-scored for Maharashtra with 58, told reporters after the match that he has been in good form this season and happy to contribute for the team on a tricky wicket. "I have scored five half-centuries this season so I was feeling confident when I went out to bat. We had lost early wickets and it was important for me to occupy crease. I concentrated on staying at the wicket and score runs whenever I got the opportunity. The wicket is green and helping fast bowlers. 196 is a good total on this wicket. We have quality fast bowlers in our ranks and would look to take a couple of early wickets next morning."