Rudra Pratap Singh's 47 off 46 balls, studded with 10 boundaries, not only helped Uttar Pradesh recover from an early collapse, the knock also allowed the former champions to post 197 against Himachal Pradesh in their first innings on a fast-paced pitch at the Green Park Stadium.
It didn't end there. The former India player came good with the ball too, snapping up two quick wickets to leave Himachal at 9/2 before the umpires called off the opening day of the Elite Group B Ranji Trophy match due to bad light.
RP first shattered Bhavin Thakkar's (2) stumps with an in-swinger in his third over, and then forced night watchman, Gurvinder Singh, (0) to offer a regulation catch to wicketkeeper Mohd Amir Khan off the next ball. At stumps, Sangram Singh, the other opener, (7) and Vineet Indulkar (0) were at the crease.
RP's knock, his best in first-class cricket, proved crucial, especially after seamer Rishi Dhawan's five for had the hosts struggling at 125/6.
RP had good company in the form of the dependable Parvinder Singh, who chose his shots wisely during a knock of 46 off 119 balls, which contained four boundaries and a six. The duo stitched together 48 for the eighth wicket.
UP were 81/2 at lunch, but things changed after Dhawan started to swing the ball both ways. Tanmay Srivastava (34), DS Rawat (22) and Eklavya Dwivedi (13), besides RP and Parvinder, reached double figures.
Brief Scores: UP 197 all out (RP Singh 47, P Singh 46; R Dhawan 5/80, K Diwan 2/27). HP 9/2 (RP Singh 2/6).