Nanda scalps 3 wickets to restrict HP to 228 for 5

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Dharamsala, Dec 1 (UNI) A fine bowling performance by leg-spinner Chetanya Nanda, helped Delhi restrict Himachal Pradesh to 228 for the loss of five wickets, at the end of opening day of the four day Ranji Trophy group A tie played at HPCA Stadium here today.

Delhi, winning the toss put the host into bat, but didn't enjoy a great start with their opening bowler Ishant Sharma struggling for rhythm, bowling as many as 15 no-balls in his 20 over spell.

The Delhi pacer, who is knocking at the door of the Indian team, though picked up the wicket of Himachal captain and wicketkeeper Sandeep Sharma when the score was at 32. A 71-run partnership between opener Manish Gupta and Mukesh Sharma saw Himachal tackling the initial hiccups.

The guile of Nanda proved to be decisive for the Himachal team as they slumped to 151 for the loss of four wickets. The 24-year-old Nanda bagged three wickets in his spell of 26 overs.

Both the Himachal batsman, Manish(49) and Mukesh (40) were unlucky to miss out a thoroughly deserve half century. The Himachal captain was caught by Bhandari of the bowling of Nanda, while Mukesh was trapped leg-before by the same bowler.

Middle-order batsman Paras Dogra (32) and wicket-keeper Maninder Bisla (39) steadied the ship for Himachal and are their overnight batsman.

The match is evenly poised as Delhi needs another five wickets to end Himachal's innings. On the other hand Himachal will be eying another 100 run to challenge Delhi's formidable batting line-up.

Scoreboard: Himachal Pradesh 1st innings Manish Gupta c Bhandari b Nanda 49 Sandeep Sharma lbw b Sharma 9 Mukesh Sharma lbw b Nanda 40 Ajay Mannu c Bisht b Bhandari 4 Barun Sharma lbw b Nanda 22 Paras Dogra not out 32 Maninder Bisla not out 39 Extras (b 4, nb 22) 33 Total (5 wickets; 90 overs) 228 Fall of wickets: 1-32, 2-103, 3-108, 4-151, 5-154.

Bowling: Amit Bhandari 15 5 33 1 Ishant Sharma 20 4 72 1 Parvinder Awana 13 4 24 0 Rajat Bhatia 2 1 3 0 Chetanya Nanda 26 8 57 3 Virender Sehwag 14 5 28 0 Umpires: P Bhanu Prakash and SL Dendapani Match referee: B Raghunath UNI

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