New Delhi:Imran Ali's hat-trick saw Pakistan national champions Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Ltd (SNGPL) dismiss Ranji Trophy winners Delhi for 134 runs in the first innings, but Ashish Nehra and Chetanya Nanda struck back for the home team on the opening day of the Mohammad Nissar Trophy on Monday.
At stumps, SNGPL were struggling at 143 for six with Khurram Shehzad batting on four and Imran Ali seven at the Ferozeshah Kotla Stadium.
SNGPL batsmen failed to capitalise on the good work of their bowlers. Umar Akmal, brother of Pakistan Test wicketkeeper Kamran, was the lone batsman to defy the Delhi attack with a well-struck 58, but none of the others could stay with him to build a decent partnership.
For Delhi, comeback man Nehra (3/36 ) and leg-spinner Nanda (2/1) picked up two wickets each in the last session to peg back SNGPL.
Nehra, playing his first first-class match in nearly a year owing to an injury, looked in fine shape and bowled a good line and length. The left-arm pacer moved the ball away from the batsmen and could have bagged a wicket in the very first over had Rajat Bhatia not dropped opener Yasir Arafat.
But Arafat couldn't make the best of the reprieve and Nehra dismissed him in the third over as SNGPL went to tea at 43/1. Nehra also picked up captain Mohammed Hafeez (28) and Adnan Akmal (14), also Kamran's brother and a wicketkeeper like him.
After tea, Umar stepped up the scoring rate before Nanda cleaned him up. The leg-spinner also dismissed Misbah-ul-Haq (9) in a similar fashion.
Earlier, it was SNGPL medium-pacer Imran (6 for 52) and Asad Ali (3/32) who wrecked the Delhi batting line-up, making most of the overcast conditions. It was also Imran's second hat-trick in recent months, having done it in the national one-day final in April.
Barring Virat Kolhi (52) and Mithun Manhas (49) none of the Delhi batsmen could get into double digits. The famed opening pair of skipper Virender Sehwag and Akash Chopra (4) failed to give Delhi the desired good start.
Pacers Asad and Imran bowled a disciplined line and length and didn't allow Sehwag a chance to free his arms.
Imran provided the first breakthrough in the second over of the innings, a late in-swinger rattlibng Sehwag's stumps. Chopra soon followed his captain edging Asad's outgoing delivery to Adnan.
Kohli and Manhas then steadied the innings taking Delhi to 106 for 3 when a drizzle forced an early lunch. The duo stitched a valuable 86-run partnership for the third wicket.
Manhas was looking set for a big score, but fell to left-arm spinner Imran Khalid, who took a brilliant catch off his own bowling.
Minhas's dismissal triggered a collapse and Delhi lost the six wickets for a mere 28 runs. Imran accounted for wicketkeeper Puneet Bisht, Chetanya Nanda and Pradeep Sangwan for his hat-trick before the batsmen could open their account. Imran then trapped Ishant Sharma (8) leg before to wrap up the Delhi innings.