Palam: On a re-laid Palam pitch, hosts Services bundled out Assam for 182 on day one of round four of Ranji Trophy on Saturday with Suraj Yadav picking up four wickets ably supported by Nishan Singh, Shabad Nazar and Yashpal Singh, who got two wickets each. The Services’ fast bowlers relished the bounce on offer as they sent the Assam top-order packing cheaply early in the day. Middle-order partnerships in the second and third session kept the visitors scorecard ticking but none of the batsman could stay on the pitch long enough for a substantial innings. At stumps on day one, Services were 11 for 0 with Soomik Chatarjee on 6 and Ansuhl Gupta on 0.
Earlier in the day, electing to bowl after winning the toss, Services’ bowler Yadav (28-9-58-4) jolted the hosts and table-toppers with three early wickets to leave Assam tottering at 41 for 3. He first scalped the captain Dheeraj Jadhav for two runs in the fifth over when the opener poked at an away going delivery towards second slip. Yadav then picked up the wicket of Amit Sinha (9). Amit went for a flick towards square leg where AH Gupta took a sharp low catch. Nazar joined in with the wicket of Hokaito Zhimomi, who just scored five.
The middle order pair of Tajinder Singh and GK Sharma then played out the morning session without any further trouble with score on 74 for 4 in 33 overs at lunch. But right after the break, GK Sharma was snared by Nishan Singh. Tajinder and Sharma together had added 28 runs for Assam. Tajinder, who was the top scorer, looked in good nick scoring and boundary and a six but was dismissed by Nishan on 29. Rajdeep Das and Dhiraj Goswami then combined to score 37 runs in 114 balls. But the introduction of part-timer Yashpal did the trick for the hosts as the veteran broke the partnership trapping Rajdeep Das leg before wicket for 26. Das hit four boundaries in his enterprising innings.
Dhiraj Goswami swung his bat around for a while with Abu Nachim taking the Assam total past 150. Suraj Yadav then came back in the final session to dismiss Goswami for 22 before Nazar had sent Nechim packing for 14. AG Konwar joined AK Das in the middle as the last wicket pair added 31 runs to the total. Das was the more aggressive hitting Yadav for a massive six over mid-wicket. Yashpal got the wicket of AK Das for 19 to finish off Assam's first innings.
After the match Services captain Soomik Chatarjee said, "I am very happy with the performance of the team. I had expected the bowlers to perform well but they were not able to provide ideal breakthroughs in previous games which they were able to do today".
Star performer of the day bowler Yadav was also pleased with his performance and said," I am quite happy with the performance as I had got only one wicket in the previous game and felt a bit frustrated".