Delhi puts up a spirited display to beat Bengal

Captaincy appears to have spurred Rajesh Bishnoi to produce the spectacular and surpass himself. For the second day running the Rajasthan middle-order player (75, 36b, 5x4, 6x6) swung his bat freely to quell a challenge posed by Kerala in the Super League match of the BCCI Twenty20 tournament for the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy at the MCA-BKC Recreation Centre on Thursday.

Bishnoi’s virtual single-handed riposte took Rajasthan’s tally to eight points from two matches in as much as Baroda in the five-team league played here. The two meet in a crucial match at the Wankhede Stadium on Friday morning; the winner may just firm up its place in the final.

Rajasthan’s fortunes hinged largely on Bishnoi’s ability to clear the big boundary and he played the finisher’s role to near-perfection.

Delhi opens account

Delhi put up a spirited display to beat Bengal and open its account in another match played at the Wankhede Stadium.

Clearly there was plenty of action at the suburban venue where Kerala’s Sanju Viswanadh hit out to make a 39-ball 68 with half a dozen 4s and four 6s. Kerala’s opening pair in V.A. Jagadeesh and K.J. Rakesh raised 40 in a flash against seamers Deepak Chahar, Rituraj Singh and Aniket Choudhary and thereafter Viswanadh and Rohan Prem (48 n.o., 33b, 4x4) smothered the Rajasthan attack making 102 off 71 balls. Once Viswanadh left in the 18th over, Jafar Jamal made 14 off eight balls.

The required run-rate of 8.65 an over may have looked far less intimidating for Rajasthan at the start of the chase, but it did so indeed by the eighth over when seamers Manukrishnan, Basil Thampy and Vinod Kumar had scythed through the top order for a mere 49 runs.

Batting at No. 6 Bishnoi, on 9, enjoyed a slice of luck when Jagadeesh failed to take a catch a few metres inside the mid-wicket boundary off spinner Rohan Prem. Bishnoi made Kerala pay heavily for the lapse; adding 45 for the fifth with Naresh Gehlot (42, 37b, 5x4, 1x6) and 70 for the sixth with Divya Pratap Singh (27 n.o., 18b, 3x6).

Bishnoi was run out in the fifth ball of the 19th over, but his whirlwind knock had virtually settled the match in his team’s favour.

Delhi’s second wicket pair in Mohit Sharma and Samarth Singh scored at a steady pace and added 76 to bring up its first victory in three matches.

Opting to bowl first, Delhi restricted Bengal to 119 with Shreevats Goswami making a 40-ball 45.

The scores: Kerala 172 for three in 20 overs (Sanju Viswanadh 68, Rohan Prem 48) lost to Rajasthan 173 for seven in 19. 5 overs (Naresh Gehlot 42, Rajesh Bishnoi 75, Divya Pratap Singh 27 n.o., Vinod Kumar two for 35). Rajasthan 4, Kerala 0.

Bengal 119 for 8 in 20 overs (Shreevats Goswami 45, Sumit Narwal two for 13, Javed Khan two for 24, Varun Sood two for 32) lost to Delhi 122 for three in 19 overs (Mohit Sharma 41, Samarth Singh 39, Yogesh Nagar 20 n.o., Sourav Mondal two for 26). Delhi 4, Bengal 0.

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