Guwahati, Feb 17 (PTI) India’s U-19 World Cup-winning captain Yash Dhull made a seamless transition into senior cricket with a superbly crafted debut hundred as Delhi scored 291 for seven against Tamil Nadu on the opening day of their Group H Ranji Trophy game here.
Dhull, sent in an unfamiliar opening position in his first ever first-class game, struck 113 off 150 balls with as many as 18 boundaries, but more importantly, resurrected the innings after Sandeep Warrrier (2/69 in 16 overs) removed veteran Dhruv Shorey (1) and young Himmat Singh (0) in quick succession.
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First with IPL specialist Nitish Rana (25 off 21 balls), Dhull added 60 and then came a 119-run fourth wicket stand with another former India U-19 captain, Jonty Sidhu (71 off 179 balls).
Displaying fine technique against the Tamil Nadu pace trio of Saravanakumar P (0/41 in 10 overs), Warrier and Mohammed Mohammed (2/40 in 12 overs), Dhull played some glorious shots square of the wicket.
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In fact, there were square cuts and square drives whenever he got width outside the off-stump and he would roll his wrists adequately to keep the pull shots down when peppered with short deliveries.
While spinners — left-arm orthodox Ravisrinivasan Sai Kishore (0/60 in 28 overs) and part-time off-break Baba Aparajith (21-2-63-2) — didn’t get much purchase from the track, Dhull did occasionally come out and hit them over in-field to get his quota of fours.
Such was the ferocity of his attack that at one point, Tamil Nadu skipper Vijay Shankar deployed a deep point to just cut the boundaries and then the youngster milked the bowling for singles.
He had a reprieve on 97 when Mohammed had him caught at short mid-wicket after he failed to keep a pull shot down but replays showed that the pacer had overstepped.
Sidhu gave him good support with his steady defensive game. Once Dhull was trapped leg before by Mohammed and Sidhu also departed, Delhi slipped to 253 for seven before Lalit Yadav (45 batting) and Simarjeet Singh (16 not out) added 38 for the eighth wicket.
Brief scores (Group H)
Delhi 1st Innings 291/7 (Yash Dhull 113, Jonty Sidhu 71, Mohammd Moahmmed 2/40) vs Tamil Nadu
Jharkhand 1st Innings 169 (Kumar Deobrat 34, Ajay Mandal 4/47).
Chattisgarh 135/4 (Shahshank Singh 37 batting, Ashish Kumar 2/26).
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