Erasing their Ranji Trophy debacle few weeks ago, a rampaging Delhi rode on Unmukt Chand’s unbeaten 80 to comfortably defeat Himachal Pradesh by six wickets and set up a title clash with Gujarat in th
Erasing their Ranji Trophy debacle few weeks ago, a rampaging Delhi rode on Unmukt Chand’s unbeaten 80 to comfortably defeat Himachal Pradesh by six wickets and set up a title clash with Gujarat in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, here on Saturday.
On Boxing Day, chasing down a modest 201, man of the match Chand (80 n.o., 80b, 7x4, 3x6) and Nitish Rana’s (19 n.o, 39b, 1x4) unbroken 55-run fifth-wicket stand steered them home with 53 balls to spare.
In race to their third final in the tournament history, Delhi hit cruise mode with India opener Shikhar Dhawan (39, 53b, 5x4) laying a solid platform at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium.
Being an ideal batting practice before the Australia tour next month, Dhawan, following Rishabh Pant’s departure, quickly garnered 61 runs (63b) for the second wicket with Unmukt.
En route to their victory, Delhi lost two wickets in quick succession before the Unmukt-Rana pair guided them across the finish line.
Earlier, boasting a strong pace attack, Gambhir elected to bowl. But the skipper himself gave an early breakthrough owing to a brilliant direct hit from covers to catch Ankush Bains short of his crease.
Previous game centurion Robin Bisht just lasted 13 deliveries before pacer Navdeep Saini’s outswinger had him caught behind.
Gambhir shuffled his fast bowlers as Prashant Chopra (33, 69b, 2x4, 1x6) and Paras Dogra (28, 65b, 2x4) added 45 off 78 balls for the third wicket.
Introducing spinners from either ends eventually hit the scoring rate. In an attempt to accelerate, Dogra handed a sitter to Chand at long-on off Pawan Negi.
Having been named in the India ODI squad, a reckless Rishi Dhawan too gifted his wicket to left-arm spinner Negi to make it 98/4.
HP were on the brink of a collapse before skipper Bipul Sharma (51, 45b, 4x4, 3x6) came up with a face-saving knock. Though wickets continued to tumble Bipul stood amidst the ruins.
For the eighth wicket, Mayank Dagar (21, 33b) gave Bipul company to add a crucial 57 (58b) and helped them post a decent target, which however proved too easy for Delhi.
Gujarat 248/8 in 50 overs (C. Gandhi 71, M. Juneja 74, R. Ashwin 3/51) beat Tamil Nadu 217 in 47.3 overs (Abhinav Mukund 104*, D. Karthik 41, Axar Patel 6/43). Himachal Pradesh 200/9 in 50 overs (B. Sharma 51, P.S. Chopra 33) lost to Delhi 201/4 in 41.1 overs (Unmukt Chand 80*, S. Dhawan 39).