Delhi lose early wickets after bowling out Odisha for 143
Delhi face an uphill battle to save them the blushes with Shikhar Dhawan and Unmukt Chand both back in the pavilion, although the score they are currently pursuing is not a huge one.
Minnows Odisha hit back in the final session to pick three Delhi wickets after the home team bowlers dismissed them for a paltry 143 in the second round Ranji Trophy encounter at the Feroz Shah Kotla ground.
Having gained the upperhand, Delhi's top-order however couldn't perform as per expectations as they were reduced 62 for three in 31 overs when stumps were drawn.
Odisha seamer Basant Mohanty grabbed two for 21 as he dismissed openers Shikhar Dhawan and Unmukt Chand for 22 and 3 respectively. Seamer Deepak Behra ended debutant Mohit Sharma's 70-minute ordeal as he scratched around for 16.
Even coach Vijay Dahiya admitted that Mohit's failure to rotate the strike increased pressure on Shikhar who he felt was middling the ball well.
The manner in which Shikhar offered a dolly to Rakesh Mohanty at gully off Basant, doubts cropped up about the Delhi captain's form in the past few seasons of Ranji Trophy.
If one debutant Mohit never looked a part during his hour and 10 minute stay, another debutant Manan Sharma did his cause no harm as he snapped up four wickets for 30 runs to help his team dismiss Odisha quickly.
The left-arm spinner, who is the son of former India cricketer Ajay Sharma was not afraid to flight the ball and also got an odd one to turn and jump as he bought the wickets in an impressive manner even after getting hit.
Manan also had the advantage of bowling to the lower middle order after Delhi's pace trio of Pawan Suyal (3/43), Sumit Narwal (2/35) and Parvinder Awana (1/23) polished the Odisha top-order who didn't show a stomach for fight.
The most impressive among the Delhi pacers was left-armer Suyal who was rightly brought in place of non-performer Pradeep Sangwan.
He bowled at a good pace and got the ball to move away from the right-handers in the process getting openers Paresh Patel (9) and Natraj. The one he got Biplab Samantray straightened after pitching.
Odisha's cause was hurt even more as skipper Natraj Behra (35) was retired hurt after being hit in the abdominal region off a Narwal delivery. He went out at score of 41 for three and came in to bat after the fall of sixth wicket at 114.
According to Delhi coach Dahiya, the immediate requirement would be to get the lead which is 82 runs away and he is banking on old warhorse Mithun Manhas to shoulder the bulk of the responsibility.
Brief Scores: Odisha 1st Innings 143 in 47.1 overs (N Behra 35, Manan Sharma 4/30, P Suyal 3/43).
Delhi 1st Innings 62/3 in 31 overs (Basant Mohanty 2/21).