A life-size poster of Suresh Raina and Sudeep Tyagi as 'pride of city' welcomes one at the Mohan Meakins Stadium here. But at the end of Day One in the Elite Group B Ranji Trophy match between former champions Uttar Pradesh and Haryana on Wednesday, no one seemed eager to discuss UP.
Haryana's young speedster Dhruv Singh struck a hat-trick to restrict the hosts for their season's lowest total of 167 in their first innings. Most batsmen found their legs shaking on quick and swinging deliveries, even missing the lines.
After trapping opener Shivakant Shukla (13) in front of the wicket on the second ball of his third over, right-arm bowler Dhruv forced Parvinder Singh (0) to edge a regulation catch to Sachin Rana with a rising delivery. Then he removed debutant Ashish Yadav (0) leg before on the fifth delivery to complete his maiden hat-trick.
This left the hosts tottering on 5/54 in the 19th over. Though Dhruv won the day's honours, another right-arm seamer Sachin Rana also did the damage with 4/51.
Haryana, in reply, were 84/0 in 32 overs with Nitin Saini (49) and Rahul Dewan (34) negotiating one of the best bowling attacks in the domestic circuit.
Nothing went right for birthday boy and UP skipper Mohd Kaif, who chose to bat first. Except Piyush Chawla, who struck his season's second best 49 (71b, 8x4), no other batsman could stay long in the middle, especially after opener Tanmay Srivastava (22) was trapped leg before by Joginder Sharma and Eklavya Dwivedi (0) was bowled round the legs by Sanjay Badhwar in the next over.
At one stage they were 7/92, but a 53-run eighth-wicket stand between Piyush Chawla and Mohd Amir Khan (18, 50b, 1x4), and two boundaries by Sudeep Tyagi off Sachin Rana helped UP cross the 150-run mark.
Brief scores: UP 167 all out
(P Chawla 49; S Rana 4/51) vs Haryana 84/0(N Saini 49 n.o). Other matches