Delhi restrict Rest of India on 252

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Vadodara, Sep 24 (UNI) Riding on brilliant spells of Ishant Sharma (3/22), Pradeep Sangwan (3/57) and Chetanya Nanda (3/60), Ranji champions Delhi restricted a star-studded Rest of India to 252 on the opening day of the five-day Irani Trophy match at the Reliance Stadium here today.

At close, the Ranji champions, led by Virender Sehwag were 21 for no loss in five overs with openers Akash Chopra on 16 (18b,3x4) and Gautam Gambhir on four unbeaten at the crease.

Anil Kumble-led ROI, who were 105 for the loss of opener Wasim Jaffer's (50) wicket at lunch, were reduced to 167 for four at tea and finally dismissed at 252 in 81.3 overs following a middle-order batting collapse.

Jaffer top scored for ROI with a well deserving 50 laced with five boundaries, followed by a cautious 46 by surprise opener Rahul Dravid and an unbeaten 26 by off-spinner Harbhajan Singh.

Sehwag, who effected frequent bowling changes to break the ROI opening pair, was visibly happy when speedsters Ishant Sharma, Ashish Nehra, Pradeep Sangwan and left-arm spinner Chetanya Nanda virtually made their opponents dance to their tunes all through the day with emaculate line and length.

Having won the toss and opting to bat first, ROI skipper Kumble surprised everyone by sending out of form Rahul Dravid to open the innings with Jaffer on the slow and non-bouncy track.

Batting cautiously against the pace and spin attack, the duo took the score to 77 before Jaffer was caught at short cover by Virat Kohli off Nanda in the 25th over.

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