Guwahati: India’s U-19 World Cup-winning captain Yash Dhull made a seamless transition to senior cricket with a beautifully crafted debut hundred, as Delhi scored 291 for seven against Tamil Nadu on the opening day of their Group H Ranji Trophy match here.
Dhull, sent off into an unknown opening position in his first-ever first-class game, hit 113 off 150 balls with a whopping 18 limits, but more importantly, revived the innings after Sandeep Warrrier (2/69 in 16 overs) removed veteran Dhruv Shorey (1) and young Himmat Singh (0) follow each other in quick succession.
First with IPL specialist Nitish Rana (25 from 21 balls), Dhull added 60 and then came a fourth wicket score of 119 points with another former India U-19 captain, Jonty Sidhu (71 from 179 balls).
With some fine technique against the tempo trio of Tamil Nadu, Saravanakumar P (0/41 in 10 overs), Warrier and Mohammed Mohammed (2/40 in 12 overs), Dhull played some glorious shots square from the wicket.
In fact, there were square cuts and square checks when he got width outside the stump and he rolled his wrists enough to keep the pull shots low when laced with short deliveries.
While spinners — orthodox left-arm Ravisrinivasan Sai Kishore (0/60 in 28 overs) and part-time off-break Baba Aparajith (21-2-63-2) — didn’t get much of the job, Dhull occasionally did. out and hit them in the field to get his quota of four.
His attack was so fierce that at one point the Tamil Nadu skipper Vijay Shankar entered a low point to push the boundaries, after which the youngster milked the singles bowling.
He had a 97 reprieve when Mohammed caught him on a short mid-wicket after failing to hold down a pull shot, but replays showed the pacer had been exceeded.
Sidhu gave him good support with his steady defensive play. After Dhull was previously stranded with his leg by Mohammed and Sidhu also left, Delhi dropped to 253 for seven before Lalit Yadav (45 at bat) and Simarjeet Singh (16 not out) added 38 for the eighth wicket.
Short scores (Group H)
Delhi 1st Innings 291/7 (Yash Dhull 113, Jonty Sidhu 71, Mohammd Moahmmed 2/40) vs Tamil Nadu
Jharkhand 1st Innings 169 (Kumar Deobrat 34, Ajay Mandal 4/47).
Chattisgarh 135/4 (Shahshank Singh 37 at bat, Ashish Kumar 2/26).