The sun refused to come out in its full glory and the Roshanara ground wore a pale look on Wednesday, a discomforting sight for the batsmen.
The bowlers didn't mind it one bit because as many as 17 wickets tumbled on Day II of the Delhi-Maharashtra Ranji Trophy match. Delhi's arsenal of medium-pacers ensured they gained heavily. Parwinder Awana was brilliant, returning career-best figures of 11-1-40-5.
Delhi were looking good for an outright win and were also in the hunt for a welcome bonus point. Leading by 256 in the first innings after bowling out Maharashtra for 163, Delhi struck once more after enforcing the follow-on, leaving the visitors 224 short of making the hosts bat again and deny them the bonus.
Mithun Manhas must have been hoping for a better weather when he resumed his innings 34 short of a double century. But wishes seldom come true and the nip in the air with some quick bowling got the better of him.
Manhas was dismissed in the third over of the day, adding just four to his overnight score. A Samad Fallah delivery clipped his bat to land in the wicketkeeper's gloves with the scoreboard reading 349 for 5.
Yogesh Nagar and Puneet Bisht, who had scored a century in the previous match, tried hard to negate the pace attack, which looked daunting.
They batted for almost an hour, but couldn't carry on with Jitendra Patil taking the key wicket of Bisht.
With Bisht gone, it was curtains for Delhi with Fallah and Patil ensuring that their team started batting before the lunch break. However, the total of 419 meant that Maharashtra had work to do.
Even before the first session was over, the visitors had lost two wickets, both bagged by Awana. After showing Sangram Atitkar the door, he bowled skipper Harshad Khadiwale, who wasn't allowed to open. He was serving a penalty owing to his absence from the field for nine minutes (a minute more than the time allowed in such cases).
The second session was no better for Maharashtra and they were reduced to 68 for six at one stage.
Awana and Sumit Narwal did most of the damage. Ganesh Gaikwad and Digamber Wagmare tried to stem the rot and batted for some time before off-spinner Yogesh Nagar broke the partnership.
A turning one got the better of Gaikwad who gave a catch to Ankur Julka at backward short-leg. But that was the end of Nagar's spell as he had to taken off the attack because of a suspect action.
Awana then got the better of No. 9 Kiran Adhav at the stroke of tea and the total was 100 for eight in 30.4 overs.
Pawan Suyal, who was wicketless till then, joined the party afterwards. After bowling Patil off a no-ball, Suyal repeated the act minutes later this time without overstepping and the batsman was out for 39.
He then broke through the defence of Samad Fallah to end the Maharashtra
innings. Following on, Maharashtra were 32 for one with Khadiwale and Atitkar at the crease, after opener Rohan Bhosle had fallen to Pradeep Sangwan for nine.