Indore: It was a bowler's day out for both Delhi and Madhya Pradesh in their Elite Group B Ranji Trophy match with as many as 16 wickets tumbling on the opening day at the Emerald Heights High School ground.

Delhi skipper Mithun Manhas opted to bat but the visitors were shot out for a paltry 158 in 59 overs. However, the Delhi bowlers brought their team right back into the match as hosts were reeling at 86 for six in 24.5 overs when stumps were drawn.

With the ball still in a semi-new state, the trio of Ashish Nehra (2-30), Pradeep Sangwan (2-27) and Parvinder Awana (1-28) will like to clean up the lower-middle order in a hurry and consolidate as the match may get over in three days.

The Emerald Heights strip has produced a string of low scores in the past and it wasn't any different. There was some help for the bowlers with seamers Taduri Sudhindra (4-46) and Amit Sharma (3-55) sharing the bulk of spoils.

It was right-arm seamer Amit who made the first inroads as he got the first three wickets with Delhi's score less than 50.

Senior opener Shikhar Dhawan's (11) woeful Ranji season continued as he was the first to get out nicking one off Amit to Naman Ojha behind the stumps. Milind Kumar (0) and skipper Mithun Manhas (0) didn't trouble the scorers. Milind was cleaned up by Amit while Manhas edged one to give Ojha his second catch.

India colts skipper Unmukt Chand (37, 87, 6x4) again got set before one change bowler Ishwar Pandey induced an edge to Ojha behind stumps. At 65 for four, Rajat Bhatia (20) and Yogesh Nagar (18) added 33 runs but as they were looking to get set, Sudhindra trapped Nagar leg before.

Last match's hero Punit Bisht (35, 54 balls, 5x4, 1x6) understood that one had to play his shots to survive on this track. He waged a lone battle at one end as wickets fell at the other end. Bisht was the ninth Delhi batsman to get out.

Madhya Pradesh started their first innings with Naman Ojha starting to hit the bowlers from the word go. Ojha played in his typical fashion where he hit a few good strokes but also had a few streaky ones in between. The idea was to score the runs quickly as the ball was doing a fair bit.

The home team raced way to 61 before Zafar Ali (20) got nick off Awana which was snapped by Bisht behind the stumps. Ojha was living dangerous and one from Sangwan came in after pitching to find the pads of the India discard. Ojha scored 39 off only 35 deliveries with seven fours.

The ball seamed around and Sangwan got his second scalp as Mohnish Mishra (5) edged one to Bisht. At 68 for three, skipper Devendra Bundela (10) and Udit Birla (6) hung around for sometime and took the score to 86 for three.

Suddenly, there was a slump as MP lopst their next three wickets without the addition of a single run. Bundela became Ashish Nehra's first victim caught by Milind Kumar while Rajat Bhatia's military medium saw Birla (6) edging one to Bisht behind stumps. Nehra then castled southpaw Harpreet Singh (0) as the umpires decided to call off the day's play.

Brief Scores:

Delhi: 158 in 59 overs (Unmukt Chand 37, TP Sudhindra 4-46, Amit Sharma 3-55).
MP: 86/6 in 24.5 overs (Naman Ojha 39, Ashish Nehra 2-30, Pradeep Sangwan 2-27).

(Agencies)